If you didn't know, I was born and raised in Nebraska. There's a neat thing about Nebraska... While it is a long way from Egypt... the whole damn state is in DENIAL!!
I have no doubt the Game and Parks in Nebraska needs some serious medication to treat their denial.
They do ADMIT on their website that there have been confirmed mountain lion sightings in the state. I firmly believe that this is only because they had to explain how the dead animal got there shot by a local. I imagine if they had access to some Men in Black flash memory eraser stick, no one would be the wiser on the matter.
Despite the "sightings", the Game and Parks still denies that Mountain Lions actually LIVE in the state. Clearly, all of the "sightings" are chalked up to animals that have MIGRATED out of their territory!! And because of this migrations, future sightings are possible, but still unlikely!
And yet here are the confirmations:
1. 1991 - Subadult female shot
2. Apr 1996 - Male killed by train
3. March 1999 - young male shot
4. Sep 1999 - Male shot
5. Nov 2000 - Male shot
6. 2002 - Young Male killed
7. Oct 2003 - Young male captured alive
8. Apr 2004 - Skull found
9. Nov 2004 - Young male shot
10. Nov 2005 - Young Male hit on I-80
11. June 2006 - Young male hit on HW 20
12. Oct 2006 - Male shot
13. Jan 2007 - Adult male killed
14. Feb 2007 - Female and 2 kittens photographed
15. Feb 2007 - (see above)
16. Feb 2007 - Kitten road killed (assuming kitten was one of two photographed)
17. June 2007 - Young male road killed
18. Feb 2008 - Male shot
19. May 2008 - Deer kill photographed
The last 7 years there has been at least one animal killed in the state each year... sometimes more. Considering the 'elusiveness' of the animal I'd say that's pretty significant. You'll also notice the deaths occur in all months of the year. To me, that means it is very unlikely that an animal strayed during a certain season (breeding, hunting, etc.). Keep in mind I did NOT include the confirmed track and photo sightings. This is for the following reasons...
- Game and Parks will tell you the tracks could easily have belonged to one of the animals listed above. While I am fully aware that lions have large ranges and can travel long distances, some of the sightings just don't match up logically with any of the deaths.
- Game and Parks will not confirm a sighting without photographic or physical proof. Matter of fact, if you call to report a sighting... they will deny it. They will NOT investigate it. They will tell you it is impossible. They will tell you that you saw a housecat!
- I would not be able to figure in all the sightings I know of. The mountain lion that my neighbor chased down the road barefoot. The mountain lion my mother saw drinking from the mill. The one that walked up our driveway in broad daylight. The tracks my father saw by our gas pumps. The one that blockaded a woman in her car. The mother with cubs that a hunter saw walking across a ridge. The one I saw hunting the neighbor's tabby cat. As a matter of fact... the sightings map does not even show any confirmed sightings in the area I grew up in.
So here are my thoughts...
In 27 years living in the state of Nebraska,
- I've seen 2 beaver... thought G&P say they are abundant statewide.
- I've seen about 6 bobcat... another abundant animal.
- I've never seen a mink... again very common
- Never seen a muskrat... common
- I've seen maybe 3 opposum... very common
- Never seen a river otter... common
I have however seen plenty of coyotes, skunks, porcipines, badgers, raccoons, eagles, cranes, rabbits, prairie dogs, deer, snakes, etc.
I will not confirm that the strange animal I saw on the side of the road going 60 mph at night was a mountain lion. However, on at least two occasions I have seen the large tawny catlike figure with the long swishy tail. On at least two occasions I have seen this UNCONFIRMED animal in broad daylight at a near enough distance to compare the height of the animal to his surroundings. On at least two occasions I have watched the animal walk stealthily through open terrain with an unobstructed view. These two occassions took place in two destinctly different areas of the state.
Therefore, using my own logic (which G&P clearly lacks) I have no choice but to ASSUME that these animals are about as common in the state as the other 'elusive but common' animals I have NOT seen in my life. And frankly, the same thing goes for bears!!
FYI: In 2003 the ex-idiot and I were out driving in the country. As he was pointing out famiiar landmarks in the area of Kansas we would be moving to. Stopping near a farm house, something in the field caught our eye. What we saw off in the distance was a large BLACK cat like form walking along the edge of the field. We watched it for a full minute, maybe two before it ducked into the treeline. While the distance was far enough to make you question your eyes, it was close enough to see the sleak feline form and swishing tail. It was close enough that he thought about taking a shot at it (because everyone would say we were crazy right?) I'd totally forgotten about the event until I started writing this post. And as my curiousity struck me, I thought I'd look up what a black panther was and where they lived.
So as I read throught the information, I find it's really just a pigment disorder that occurs in leopards, jaguars, and other cats. So I'm thinking... "Couldn't be what we saw... because those things don't even live close." And I was just about to write the whole thing off until I read this...
There are no authenticated cases of truly melanistic cougars. Black cougars have been reported in Kentucky and in the Carolinas. There have also been reports of glossy black cougars from Kansas, Texas and eastern Nebraska. These have come to be known as the North American black panther. None have ever been photographed or shot in the wild and none have been bred. There is wide consensus among reeders and biologists that the animal does not exist and is a cryptid. Sightings are currently attributed to errors in species identification by non-experts, and by the memetic exaggeration of size.
Anyone else find it very coincidental that I happened to see this creature in one of the 5 states they have been reported in? Right... because I really had no idea. If he hadn't seen the exact same thing and if we hadn't been able to watch it long enough to really contemplate our sanity, I'd think I was crazy! And then I find out I'm not the only one who's seen one in Kansas! Yeah... now I'm convinced and I don't care what those BIOLOGISTS say! It's a real animal and I've seen it.
So someone better be stepping forward to tell me about their pet unicorn before I get any crazier!