Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 17th, 2006
The Lincoln County News of Maine, May 17, 2006, is reporting in their article, “Cougar Sighted in Waldoboro,” of a recent encounter up the coast.
Reporter Paula Roberts writes:
On May 6, the last thing Joanne Campbell, of Old Rt. 1 in Waldoboro, expected to see when she got up shortly after 5 a.m., to retrieve the daily newspaper was a mountain lion in her yard.
“I looked out the door and there between the house and the woods were two mountain lions. The smaller one was about four feet long with a big long tail. The bigger one was about twice as long. They were tawny colored with black markings. They were beautiful with their big long tails and color,” Campbell commented.
Campbell said the smaller one made noises, “It howled like caw caw. It was quite exciting and a little scary.” After a short spell, the large cats went into the woods toward the deer yard located in the woods behind her house.
Campbell’s neighbor Ernestine Connelly also heard the younger cat’s cries at 5 a.m. “It was almost like it was barking but was high and piercing sound. It was a noise I had never heard before. It woke me up. I put the shades up fast!”
Connelly saw the smaller of the two cats around 8 a.m. “It ran out behind by the little shed and ran into her (Campbell’s) driveway. It was about four feet long with a long tail. It was about the size of a good size lab. I’d never seen one before,” Connelly said.
“It has all the makings of a credible sighting,” Maine Inland and Fisheries biologist Keel Kemper said of Campbell’s five minute observation of the cougar. Kemper did not go on scene because the sighting was not reported for a couple of days. Kemper said it was the first cougar sighting with offspring reported in Lincoln County.
“I assured her she could still go out and garden,” Kemper added. Cougars are illusive animals. There have been numerous sightings in Lincoln County and in Maine in the past 10 years. There have been no cougar attacks on humans in Maine.
Maine sightings of tawny cougars are more frequent than most people know. The Waldboro area has a history of sightings of black panthers, the more mysterious of the cat pack. Even cryptozoologist Matt Bille tells of how his father Don saw a huge black feline jump out in front of his car in rural east-central Maine in 1955.
Meanwhile, over in Michigan today, Dr. Brad Swanson and Dr. Patrick Rusz announced their findings in a scientific paper in the American Midland Naturalist, published by Notre Dame University. They discovered cougar droppings in scattered, remote regions of Michigan, between 2001-2003. In nearly 300 droppings collected from 12 areas of Michigan that had long histories of cougar sightings, ten of the profiles contained cougar DNA. One was a bobcat, another a dog. One DNA sequence from Delta County was long enough to identify it as a North American cougar.