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Eastern Cougar Declared Extinct


It was thought to have gone a long time ago, but alleged sightings here and there prompted investigations that turned up nothing. 

The AP:

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday declared the eastern cougar to be extinct, confirming a widely held belief among wildlife biologists that native populations of the big cat were wiped out by man a century ago. After a lengthy review, federal officials concluded there are no breeding populations of cougars – also known as pumas, panthers, mountain lions and catamounts – in the eastern United States. Researchers believe the eastern cougar subspecies has probably been extinct since the 1930s."

The cat was placed on the endangered species list in 1973. It will now be removed.

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  1. What a beautiful animal. Very sad news indeed.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Mar 3, 2011 9:32:45 AM

  2. Yes, MILKMAN, what a beautiful animal. I think they're what my Grandaddy used to call "panna cats" down in south Georgia.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2011 10:07:17 AM

  3. Sad, but 95% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. Its the way things are. Whether its us doing it or another natural force its all the same.

    Posted by: rovex | Mar 3, 2011 10:21:26 AM

  4. Sad? Maybe so. But every now and then somebody in the West gets killed by a mountain lion. When I was in Boulder a few years ago, somebody was killed by one when he was running on a hiking trail.

    I prefer nature to be tame.

    Posted by: Joel | Mar 3, 2011 10:34:48 AM

  5. Frankly, I'd prefer more mountain lions and less people.

    Posted by: Yeek | Mar 3, 2011 10:41:36 AM

  6. @joel, are you serious? as if mountain lions knock on residents' doors asking to come in for some tea but only to commit murder. Let's just kill off all wild animals then!

    Posted by: ha | Mar 3, 2011 10:44:21 AM

  7. @Joel: Nature and tame are polar opposites.

    I prefer my nature to be natural and wild. Tame is for zoos and domesticated animals.

    When someone is killed by a wild animal, it means they've forgotten that we're in THEIR environment and aren't acting accordingly. They aren't mindless killers, they're either hungry or are protecting their young. The further you encroach upon their habitat, the more you can expect to be their lunch at some point, but many people think they can build a beautiful mansion next to a forest preserve (or jog in one) yet complain about bears and lions. You can't have it both ways.

    Posted by: johnny | Mar 3, 2011 10:45:49 AM

  8. @Joel: then it's not nature, is it? Why don't you just stay home.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Mar 3, 2011 10:48:58 AM

  9. Johnny,

    Well said!! Agree with you 100%

    Posted by: Justin | Mar 3, 2011 10:50:21 AM

  10. Very beautiful big cat. Just remember it can rip apart the biggest, toughest human, so keep your distance.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 3, 2011 10:52:09 AM

  11. Beautiful animal. I know it's the way it is, but I gasped. Nature is nature. Wild, beautiful and free. Never controlled. Otherwise it's not nature.

    Posted by: Han | Mar 3, 2011 10:56:14 AM

  12. ratbastard, you do know the meaning of the word extinct?

    our treatment of this entire planet and it's inhabitants is shameful. when are forward-thinkers going to have enough power to save it?

    Posted by: TonyJ | Mar 3, 2011 12:17:51 PM

  13. Fortunately, there is good news. The "eastern cougar" was simply a subspecies of Cougars, of which there are still plenty, particularly in the west (where they are often called Mountain Lions or Pumas).

    However, another subspecies, the Florida Panther, is still critically endangered.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 3, 2011 12:25:32 PM

  14. ratbastard, you do know the meaning of the word extinct?

    our treatment of this entire planet and it's inhabitants is shameful. when are forward-thinkers going to have enough power to save it?

    Posted by: TonyJ | Mar 3, 2011 12:17:51 PM

    Ah, yes Tony, but they still exist out west.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 3, 2011 12:43:09 PM

  15. There are, however, western cougars in the East.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 3, 2011 12:50:36 PM

  16. The real housewives of New Jersey are dead? Thank God. Why were they given a show in the first place?

    Posted by: Garst | Mar 3, 2011 4:51:18 PM

  17. The Florida species of the Eastern Panther (the Florida Panther) is not extinct but is endangered.

    @JOEL, you're an idiot! You DO realize who moved into whose neighborhood, right? It reminds me of the white people moving into Native American lands, killing them, exploiting them, stealing their land and then calling the NATIVE AMERICANS savages and complaining when they fought back.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 3, 2011 8:58:49 PM

  18. Rovex -- yes, nature will on its own make some species go extinct, but you have such a cavalier attitude about extinction that you fail to recognize the danger it presents. Human kind making animals going extinct hurts human kind, too. We may not be able to stop it from happening, but we'd be smart to do all we can to avoid going out of our way to cause these animals to die out.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 4, 2011 12:08:03 AM

  19. This is a sad footnote to, as we know, an increasingly problematic world wildlife issue...

    Posted by: Wildlife Conservation | Mar 25, 2011 9:48:48 AM

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