Humanoids are stupid. Laugh at them.

Monday, September 22, 2008


BLACKSTONE, Va. - Like some other residents of this small town, Mary Elizabeth Goodwyn doesn't go outside after dark much anymore.

Since 2003, the Courier-Record has run at least 15 stories on cougar sightings in town and in the neighboring 41,000-acre Army National Guard training base.

Wildlife officials say that except for a known population of 100 in Florida, the large cats _ also called mountain lions, pumas, panthers and the fitting "ghost cats" _ were wiped out in the eastern United States by 1900. They claim sightings most likely are cases of mistaken identity _ perhaps a bobcat, deer or even a Labrador retriever.

"The sense I get is there are a number of game commission people laughing, and that bothers me a bit because we've got good people here who aren't crazy," said Billy Coleburn, who as editor of the paper wrote most of the stories.

Officials estimate there are as many as 35,000 mountain lions in the West, including in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. And some are inching eastward.

A cougar kitten was hit by a truck in Kentucky in 1997, one cougar was killed and another captured in West Virginia in 1976 and scientists verified droppings from Massachusetts in 1997.

Earlier this year, police killed a cougar in Chicago that was traced through Wisconsin from South Dakota. Sightings have been confirmed in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and down to Arkansas and Louisiana.



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