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