Cougars are "Back"
In the latest copy of Canadian Geographic Magazine, there is an article reporting DNA confirmation of an Eastern Cougar (Puma Concolor Courguar) in Ontario. Surprisingly, it was near Port Colbourne, in the south. http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/nd07/default.asp
It was 1938, that the last confirmed case of a cougar being know to be in Ontario. Over the years, there have been many tantalizing reports of cougars, many by knowledgeable people but no widely accepted hard evidence. This is not only true of Ontario but also Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States bordering on the Appalachian Mountains as far south as the Carolinas.
http://www.easterncougar.org/ http://www.fws.gov/nc-es/mammal/cougar.html http://www.adirondackexplorer.org/scoop.cougars.htm
There numbers are very low, some feel they are in fact extinct.
Sightings are often thought to be escaped animals from private game farms or zoos.
Recently, around North Bay Ontario there have been sightings of a dark cat. One explanation it is really a panther escaped from a private owner or one that has cross breed with a wild cougar.
Without any firm evidence it remains conjecture and adds to the mystery of this animal.
If the cougar is making a modest comeback, after being hunted to near extinction, one of the reasons my be the abundance of deer, a major food source.
I have long been interested in the restoratation of the Eastern Cougar and read with interest accounts of sightings, particularly here in Northern Ontario. It would be thrilling to see this top predator join the other big cats in Ontario, the Lynx and the Bob Cat. There should be a place for this wonderful animal in our environment.