Are these Cougar sightings?
by Patricia Mayr, Mikaila Penney, Liam, Denise
(Meyersburg, Orangeville, Belville, Glencoe / Appin area, Colchester)
Big Cat Print
Patricia M from Mayersburg wrote ... my elderly terrier woke me at about 1:00 am last night needing to go outside. Thank God I leashed him and was there with him to notice his agitated fixation in the direction of my barn roof. Perched atop the structure and semi obscured amongst the branches sat a full grown yet seemingly adolescent cougar peering down at us from the roof's peak. I was at the time facing it and was standing within a ten foot distance from me, my being situated vulnerably below the animal who appeared to be more curious than dangerous. Because I use to work with troubled teenagers taking them wilderness camping in remote areas I was well schooled on the safest way to back respectfully away from such an encounter: by avoiding direct eye contact, quick or aggressive movements, or loud noises; just as my terrier uncharacteristically knew not to bark or to lunge toward the cougar itself ... Despite my sense that the cougar appeared to be more curious than dangerous I could not help being nervous of his appetite and his size. I was quaking then as I am now. So..... I am writing to warn those in the Campbellford / Meyersburg area that it might be wise to keep your dog or cat leashed or penned for a while until this beauty clears the region ... and be particularly careful to warn your kids of the danger these predatory animals pose. As for myself, I have to admit that it was an awesome experience ... but one I would not intentionally invoke nor encourage ... these animals may be stunningly majestic but they are clearly in full control of the encounter. Why this particular animal chose to be atop my barn and to deem me unthreatening I do not know, but I sincerely hope that he or she is not accompanied by a litter. While not everyone has had the chance to fix eyes with a cougar against a star lit night, I would never recommend it, nor wish to encounter it again. Mikaila Penney from near Orangeville Ontario reported
... it lives by Island Lake. Go on Google maps and find Island Lake, you can see the front part of the lake is on the busy highway close to town. The other side of the lake can be accessed by highway 10 and Hockley road. It's a little turn off before the Orangeville fair grounds, it brings you to a dead end, we all called it the bubble growing up.
There's been a Cougar around there for at least 15 years, there's been many sightings and the town has put warning signs up and fenced in the gravel "bubble". Many people have stories and pictures of prints.
They have been spotted from that area, spanning Hockley Valley area all the way through Caledon to Brampton. Liam from Belville said
... about 3-4 years ago I was driving down Farley Avenue in the east end of Belleville, Ontario, and witnessed a Cougar run across the street in front of my car. It was the first time I’ve ever seen one before but it was definitely a Cougar. It was near the end of Farley where it meets station street, running from one undeveloped field to another.Denise from Colchester wrote to say
... on August 11, 2021 around 5:30 pm I turned onto Wright Road from Gore Road when I spotted a large animal run across the road from a field into the tall corn field across the road. It was larger than my daughter’s German shepherd, and it was definitely a feline, and not of a member of the dog family. I am positive it was a Cougar. Last fall one of our readers reported
... I was driving home through the Glencoe / Appin, Ontario area in the rain one evening and spotted what I think was two adult cougars walking along the shoulder of the highway just a few hundred metres east of Appin. I slowed right down to avoid hitting them, and they moved further off the roadway onto the shoulder. I was startled by the size, so they were definitely adult. I only got a quick look at them as it was very dark and pouring rain. There are no wild cat sanctuaries in the area or anything, so I was very surprised to see them and thought I was crazy, but this site makes me think that it is possible that I saw cougars in Southern Ontario tonight!