The cougar is a big cat that was once found throughout most of Canada, America, Central America and South America. It is also known as the puma, panther, painter and mountain lion. It is buff or tan in color, with some black marks on the ear tips and near the whiskers. There has never been a confirmed case of an all-black cougar, so the question of the eastern cougar is usually kept separate from reports of American black panthers, though some researchers consider these two cryptids to be the same. The cougar was viciously extermined from the entire eastern part of the United States, or at least that is what zoologists believed. Sightings of eastern cougars have continued despite the fact that there aren't supposed to be any cougars to see.
Scientists were suprised when the Florida panther, long considered to be a mythical animal, was discovered in the Everglades. It was declared a subspecies and is now on the brink of extinction. Other reports of eastern cougars have not been confirmed by the scientific community, yet. They are still scoffed at.
What could these other sightings be? There might be small, hidden pockets of cougars that are the same subspecies as the Florida panther, or they might be a different subspecies. They might be intermittent migrants from the American west or Mexico, where wild cougars still roam. We now know that wild cougars can travel as far as 600 miles into cougar-free country. Some could be escaped or abandoned pets. All these explanations are attractive, and some might apply to some sightings, but not others. It is also possible that there are surviving pockets of eastern cougars, escaped pets, and wild migrants who are responsible for different sightings. Unfortunately, none of these explanations has been confirmed yet. As far as mainstream science is concerned, nearly all cougar sightings east of the Mississippi river are lies, hoaxes or hallucinations.
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