Friday, August 21, 2009
Reader Spots A Juvenile Cougar Near Cross Plains
I received an email from a reader today who reported spotting what he described as a juvenile cougar near the West Texas town of Cross Plains just after Memorial Day this past summer. I've omitted the reader's name to protect his privacy but you can read his account below.
Hello, ive been trying to decide if you would be interested in this info or not, i figured if your not: no harm no foul. just after memorial day of this year i had a juvenile cougar cross highway 206 in between Cisco and Cross Plains in Eastland County. Not sure if this qualifies for your search for big cats in Central Texas but i thought i'd let you know regardless. I have also found cougar tracks along the Colorado River in Coke County. hope this helps.
PS great site.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department only recognizes the existence of wild cougars in the Trans Pecos area of Texas and deep South Texas. The Cross Plains area, while considered West Texas, would be well outside the officially recognized range of mountain lions in the Lone Star State.
Several familiar questions are raised once again by this account. If there are no wild cougars in this area of the state, what are people seeing? Surely, the many sightings of mountain lions in this state can not all be attributed to escaped exotic pets and mis-identifications. Personally, I think the cougars of Texas, much like coyotes, have learned to better survive in close proximity to people. These survivors continue to reproduce and are reappearing in areas where they haven't been seen for decades. I feel it is only a matter of time until the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is forced to recognize this.
Ironically, this is the second interesting story to come out of the Cross Plains area this month. Newspaper accounts out of Abilene recently documented the killing of an alligator near Cross Plains. You can read my original post on that story here.