3 Reasons a Mountain Lion Could Be in New Jersey | Science updates | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.


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3 Reasons a Mountain Lion Could Be in New Jersey

Mtlion_optBY BOB HOLT

Share on Facebook!Mountain lions used to roam all across the United States, but now are generally found in 14 western states, with a small amount remaining in Florida.

And one of them may have stopped off in New Jersey.

According to NJ.com, a man reported seeing a mountain lion walking across his front yard in Princeton this past Saturday. The Princeton man said the animal had a four-foot curved tail, which can be found on mountain lions, animal control officer Mark Johnson said.

Could a mountain lion have paid a visit to Princeton? Yes, and we’ll tell you the reasons why:

1.) The mountain lion populations are starting to grow again, and they’re on the move. NJ.com reports that wildlife officials have put up theories that the cats will eventually be heading to the eastern states.

2.) The Princeton sighting was not an isolated incident. There have been more than a few mountain lion spottings in New Jersey. Late in 2012, NJ.com reported that a mountain lion was seen in the Hillcrest Avenue area of Morris Township. Police did not spot the mountain lion on this occasion.

3.) They prey on deer. According to mountainlion.org, a mountain lion kills a deer on the average of every ten to fourteen days. And there is no shortage of deer to be found in New Jersey.

Carnivore specialist Dan Thompson said mountain lions don’t usually attack humans. Thompson said according to Cody Enterprise Local News, “Mountain lion attacks on humans are extremely rare.”

But Thompson advises any victims of an attack to fight back. The cats can weigh between 75 and 180 pounds.

Comments (5)
5 Saturday, 24 January 2015 20:11
Ronnie Liebowitz
Today, January 24,2015, there ere a dozen or more young deer in the woods behind my house. All of a sudden they scattered in three directions and I saw a bobcat or mountain lion streaking across by backyard towards them. Yes, I am sure!
4 Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:52
There has been talk that a NJ state agency has brought into several rural areas, three pair of breeding mountain lions to "thin the deer population". If this is indeed true, the public should be privileged to being made aware of this strategic decision. I live along the Appalachian Trail, and have heard of several sightings. We are fed fear of bears...I think there may be more here to concern ourselves with than bears.
3 Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:42
There has been talk that a New Jersey wildlife agency is quietly bringing several pair of breeding mountain lions into rural locations throughout the state, to "thin the deer population". Whether this is true or not, the public will most certainly be left uninformed. I live along the Appalachian Trail, and have heard of several sightings. We are fed fear in regards to bears....I think we have more than that to be concerned with.
2 Friday, 12 December 2014 20:47
Dec 6 2014. Spotted what I think was a cougar in flatbroook
1 Wednesday, 19 November 2014 10:14
D. Tantillo
Last Saturday I was walking my dog in a local heavily forested and rugged area at around 4:35 pm. There were no other hikers for miles around and the sun was starting to set. I heard a large animal noise close-by the trail to where we we're standing. At first I thought that it may have been a bear or deer that made the noise, but when I heard a second noise I looked up to the top of a nearby rock mound. There standing approximately 100 feet from me was a mountain lion in a frozen position in a full side-on to me position staring me down. The stare-off lasted around 5 seconds when it made another noise and moved off.

I reported this sighting to the State of NJ DNR. They told me that they had received multiple sighting reports this year in Northern New Jersey, but that officially they were supposed to be extinct. I can tell you for an absolute fact that this animal that was larger than my 85 lb lab was very real and unaware of the fact that he was supposed to be extinct. I was unable to take a picture due to the shock of the encounter, the last thing that you are thinking about when you stumble upon a mountain lion close-up is to take a picture. I was mainly stunned at what I was seeing and for an instant I didn't believe my own eyes.

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