As usual, Facebook got it right: Mountain lions – aka cougars – aka pumas – really are back east of the Mississippi River, specifically Tennessee as confirmed by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency information officer Doug Markham. OK, Facebook got it sort of right. That giant-headed black panther your aunt insists her cousin saw in his backyard in North Carolina is a picture of a leopard in Africa. But details, details ….
Read the Nashville Tennessean story here, but ignore the part where it says mountain lions are the largest cats in North America. That would be the jaguar, which can outweigh a mountain lion by a hundred pounds and is still relatively common in Mexico while occasionally venturing into New Mexico and Arizona because of America’s porous borders.
Donald Trump will not only build a wall to keep jaguars out, he’ll make them pay for it. Trump 2016!
Anyway, back to cougars: Trail cameras caught the cat in three western Tennessee counties, and the TWRA has launched a page called “Cougars in Tennessee” to educate the public about the return of this majestic animal, which almost never attacks people, to its natural habit. Of course, that will do nothing to prevent mass hysteria about the danger of mountain lions or keep hunters from being pissed they can’t shoot them.