Cougar sighted

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Clay City resident Paul Harbour took this photograph with his cell phone Saturday while hunting. He took the picture of what appears to be a mountain lion, or a cougar. Courtesy Photo.

* Unsure if the one which escaped from rescue center

Paul Harbour could barely believe his eyes.

On Saturday, what turned out as a normal hunting trip for the Clay City resident turned into one interesting find.

While hunting at a private residence near Interstate-70, Harbour snapped photos on his cell phone of what appeared to be a mountain lion hovering near the tree he was in.

"I was hunting and it came in," Harbour told The Brazil Times. "It wound up that it was just right underneath my tree."

Harbour was bow hunting for deer at the location when he spotted the animal close to 5:15 p.m.

"You hear of lots of sightings," Harbour said. "I was awed. I could not believe it. I even questioned myself wondering if I was seeing things."

Harbour said he contacted representatives with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Center Point, after he saw the animal.

Harbour said representatives with the feline center agreed it was a mountain lion, but could not confirm if it was the cougar that escaped from the center a few years ago.

On Monday, representatives from the rescue center would not comment on this issue.

Harbour said when he saw the animal, the first thought that went through his head was to shoot at it with his bow.

Paul Harbour

"I reached for my bow, but thought if I shoot and miss, no one would believe me," Harbour said. "So I took a couple of pictures of it."

Harbour said he eventually did shoot at the animal, but missed.

"What really surprised me was how big it was when it's right next to you," Harbour said, "and how quiet it was. I never heard it. I could not believe how stealthy it was."

A teacher in the Clay Community School Corporation, Harbour said the animal he saw Saturday appeared to be healthy.

"The cat I saw was very well fed," he said. "But it was so quiet. It was at least 20-feet away from me when I saw it the first time. It got as close as probably 5-feet, maybe 8-feet from my tree, then it doubled back and left."

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  • I hope something will be done to catch or put down this animal. There are many people who enjoy the woods or live by them, do we really have to wait till a life is lost before we take this issue seriously?

    -- Posted by localgal on Tue, Oct 13, 2009, at 11:35 PM
  • ok this is scary especially if you have kids who play outside.

    -- Posted by busymomandstudent on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:30 AM
  • Cougar attacks are very rare even in areas where they are heavily populated (like here in the western US). There are plenty of deer and mid sized rodents to keep it from attacking humans in the Midwest. If you see one and it sees you, maintain eye contact stand tall and grab things to make you taller (branches, etc). Unless you corner one or sneak up on it, it will likely never bother you. Quite frankly given your overpopulation of deer, you guys could use some more of them.

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 8:43 AM
  • Wattawatta,

    I do understand what you are saying, all creatures serves a purpose. I do not believe however that this area is populated with big cats. This cat is a "domesticated" cat that has been unfortunately raised by humans at one time as a pet.

    This is a very dangerous situation. First of all humans in this area are not looking for a animal that isn't supposed to be here, we are not trained how to deal with them, especially our children.

    Secondly though this animal has plenty of food it also is used to humans feeding it and will come around homes making it a potential danger to all.

    I do want to stress none of this is the animals fault. Why we let any private citizen own these cats is beyond me. They belong free and wild. I can also appreciate what the rescue center is doing, but 99% containment is not acceptable when you are dealing with dangerous animals. I don't know where this animal originated but the rescue is missing one. It is possible it escaped from a private owner, either way it was not born here and has to be captured.

    -- Posted by localgal on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 10:34 AM
  • I was told by an ICO that the cougar that escaped is not the only one in the area. The information I got was that cougars were heavily hunted a while back until they were hard to find. They haven't been bothered in a while and now they're slowly starting to get their population back up. I always make sure my two dogs are outside with my daughter when she is playing for this reason, and because they would destroy anyone who crossed the fence to try and harm or take her. :)

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 10:37 AM
  • Paul, I love you man.

    About 6-8 years ago My family and I was coming back from a YMCA soccer game on Harmony road. Right before I-70 We seen what looked like a female lion jump across the road. I seen little kids playing outside so I stopped and told the people what I seen. The lady called 911 and handed me the phone. The police gave me the DNRs number. They told me a man owned a large cougar near there and it gets out of his house sometimes. The DNR told me there has been 20 confirmed sighting in Clay County over the last 10-15 years. The house where I seen the Cougar was the first house North of I-70, on the East side, on Harmony Road.

    -- Posted by Kirk Smith on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 10:41 AM
  • For this guy to get a picture of one in broad daylight is extremely rare. They are very nocturnal in nature and do most of their hunting in the early evenings. I cannot speak to thisanimal being a captive or wild. Nevertheless the wild ones avoid man like the plague and ones that were captive would likely not look at humans as prey. These animals are extremely fast, can climb trees, jump you name it. They rest at the top of the food chain. They are also one of the most beautiful machines nature ever invented. Last year I got to see one track down a mule deer herd and the sheer grace and power is something to behold. I grew up in the MW and I understand the fear of something so exotic and possibly dangerous. You never walk into the woods fearing something will get you. When you live around them daily though you respect and appreciate their presence (whether it be wolves, big cats or bears). Welcome to the wild west way of life.

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 10:52 AM
  • I have heard from several sources that there are plenty of cougars and other large cats/animals in this area now. I know these aren't near as big as a cougar but a lot of people tend to forget that we have bobcats in Indiana.

    -- Posted by NewRelease24 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 10:56 AM
  • The poster who says put it down, why its not hurting anything at all.

    I live in the mountains here in Northern Ca and I have had them in my driveway,

    They shy away from humans, now if you smell like a deer you might have a problem.

    these Cats are beautiful to say the least.

    Unless it does start killing cattle or Goats which is highly unlikly,considering the deer population in Ind,It poses no threat at all.

    -- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:08 AM
  • also please consider that these cats have marked thier territory which can be fifty miles square.

    this Cat isn`t a threat, He like the bow hunter uses the same tactic, climb a tree and wait to ambush a deer, Deer never look up

    -- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:12 AM
  • Im very sure this is not the only big cat on the loose in our area.

    -- Posted by max23 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:15 AM
  • Hey Paul you got to see something very few people get to see.

    Like I said I live here in N. Ca now. there is a beautiful male that comes through our mobile home park every now and then,follow the deer that hang out here.

    two years ago a female gave birth to two kittens by a storage shed here.

    we put out a big bucket of water for her to drink, and later watched her take kittens one by one to whereever her den was.beautiful to watch.

    now on the other hand we have black bears come in here too once in a while,they are scary as you know they dont really shy away from humans like the cats do/I have my HP rifle loaded just in case for those, because the elderly who live here Takes walks around the park every day and evening

    -- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:22 AM
  • to pittbull

    If your dogs are pittbulls, Your daughter is in more danger with that breed then they ever would be with a mountain lion

    -- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:25 AM
  • I wish they had these when I grew up in Clay Co many years ago. Embrace this and appreciate the experience. In an effort to help educate those unfamiliar with the animal, here is the Colorado Division of Wildlife recommendations on encountering the big cats (there are estimated to be over 4000 in the state at any given time). Also the number of attacks on humans:

    - Stay calm. Talk calmly yet firmly to the lion, and raise your arms to appear larger.

    - Do not run, as running may trigger a lion's instinct to chase and attack. Stop or slowly back away.

    - If the lion behaves aggressively, throw stones, branches or whatever is available without crouching down or turning away from the lion.

    - If a lion attacks, fight back. Lions have been driven away by prey that fights back.

    According to a report by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, since 2003 there have been seven fatal and 38 non-fatal attacks of humans by mountain lions in the United States and Canada.

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:42 AM
  • Thank you T-Rex!! Please this animal has not hurt anyone, why should it be destroyed? Besides, I don't believe there is a hunting season in Indiana for Mountian lions.

    Small Children should never be left alone with any breed of dog, not just a pitbull.

    -- Posted by Take Action on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 11:50 AM
  • There have been big cats of some type in this area for a quite a few years. When I was young, my cousin and I spotted a big black cat of some type. We played in the woods a lot and this cat saw us and ran. It never offered to hurt us. It thought we were going to hurt it. People just need to educate themselves about these animals and be smart.

    As far as the comment on the pitbulls....These dogs have been the spotlight ever since a couple of them attacked people. The truth is that these dogs wouldn't hurt anyone any more than any other dog you may have in your home. Animals are animals!! Yes, there are pitbulls that are bred to fight, but that is not the dog's fault....again the human is at fault!!! Please do not sterotype people or animals. That is the real problem here. Educate yourself and know what you need to do if confronted by one. If you think that your little Daisy (or whatever her name is)won't attack you or your children just because she is not a are deadly mistaken. The guy that has the pitbulls at the top, I am sure he loves his dogs just as much as you do.

    I am not attacking anyone here. I am just trying to make people understand that animals are animals. It dooesn't matter what they are. It is normal for them to protect themselves when they feel they are in danger.

    -- Posted by concernedcitizen1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:00 PM
  • Whatever you do, do not do what this idiot in the link did:

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:15 PM
  • This is so exciting!!!! I love nature and I love what Joe Taft and his group are doing for the unwanted, abused, and otherwise homeless big cats. I don't live too far from there and it does not bother me at all. The "escape" rate at EFRC is by far substantially less than our correctional facilities in our fine state that we call home. I worry more about the escaped convicts and criminals traveling to and fro on I-70 than I do about wild things coming to call. Carry on with your great work Mr. Taft.

    I also live extremely close to where this cat was sighted. I have several horses, several dogs, and your typical assortment of barn cats. I am not afraid that any of my "babies" will become big cat food because I know that the cats are "human-shy", somewhat reclusive and unless seriously provoked will not attack. I will however, be more cognisant of the fact that there just might be something lurking around the corner at any given time. I like going out to my barn at night just to listen to my horses munching away on their hay so I might prepare myself a bit more. But scared.....nope. It's nature, they were here before us and man wiped them out so we could live here. If they are making a comeback like their cousins the Bobcats, then more power to them. Man will just seek and destroy like he has historically done and then there won't be anymore big cats around these parts for awhile.

    We don't know if this was Boomer and if it is, the news article said that she was very shy and did not like contact with humans. That came directly from Mr. Taft. He would know her better than any of us so if indeed it is her, then she will be very skittish....."though this animal has plenty of food it also is used to humans feeding it and will come around homes making it a potential danger to all." I disagree with that statement. She has been loose for the last couple of years and has yet to make an appearance at somebody's home or the news of it would have made it around the county grapevine. It could of course be somebody else's pet that is out for a stretch, that is a different scenario altogether.

    All in all, this is still very exciting and I hope that someday I will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse from the distance at this magnificant beauty. I am happy that you didn't shoot her Mr. Harbour. I believe, somebody correct me if I am wrong, that if you would have shot the cat it would be some kind of federal offense unless it was attacking your people or doing property damage? Something like that. It was talked about after Boomer escaped.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling, have a great day.

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:21 PM
  • I walk in the woods everyday, this picture is what I have seen in my head a few times and tried not to think about it because Indiana has some beautiful scenery year round, I did get a deer tick off my arm two days ago, there was one incident with 2 wild dogs a couple of years ago, I could let this scare me into giving it all up, but I could also cross 40 to go to Walmart and get hit by a speeding truck, so if you live frightened of everything, you lose your enjoyment and my motto is be prepared and continue to live your life, it is, afterall, the only one you have.

    -- Posted by Soni on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:33 PM
  • I realize that spotting a cougar in Indiana would be very exciting and unusual. But I sincerely hope everyone keeps in mind that this is a protected animal under Indiana state law and killing it or harming it would be illigal. If the animal is posing a threat to life or serious physical injury you may defend yourself. Otherwise severe legal penalty could result from harming this or other animals in Indiana that are protected or do not have a specified legal hunting season assigned to them.

    -- Posted by bigfoot1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:38 PM
  • I'm sorry I have a correction to my above statement, don't want to become a member of the liars club by not correcting it, Almost everyday it should read.

    -- Posted by Soni on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:43 PM
  • By federal law. You can only shoot this animal if it is threatening you or a loved one. Pets are not included in this or livestock. If it came into your house yes, but that is beyond rare. You could be fined huge if you shot it and it was found to be non-threat situation by a game warden or whatever you call them in Indiana.

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:43 PM
  • that is why my login name is pitbull_advocate, because of ignorant comments like that t-rex. i'm not saying you are ignorant, but that was an ignorant comment. yes i have two pits, one a boxer mix, and they are both big babies, unless they sense my kids are in harms way. i will watch out the window and they follow my daughter around the entire fence line, never letting her out of their sight. it's neat to see. and if a stranger comes close they will let them know they need to take a couple steps back. i don't want to turn this into a debate about pits because this is an article about cougars, but the fact is that pits are one of the most loyal breeds of dogs and have an extremely unfair reputation.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:46 PM
  • The kids will be fine as most cougars only hunt younger men. I wouldnt fear the woods either as most cougars in this area hunt near the Bama, Gooseneck, and Timeout bars.

    -- Posted by ericbeasleyfan09 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:49 PM
  • As an avid hunter in the Wabash valley, I have encountered a few cougars of my own. I'm surprised that this one was spotted in the daylight, as most are nocturnal and usually hang out around college towns. During the day, cougars disguise themselves as productive members of society. However, at night, their true cougar form is revealed. I may have "bagged" a few cougars in my day, but I never found it socially acceptable to publicly post pictures of my catch. Yet I understand what would make a young man want to do this...

    -- Posted by AvidHunter09 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:49 PM
  • Per the Indiana State DNR: Because there is no season on cougars in Indiana, and because they ARE NOT PROTECTED in Indiana, it would be perfectly legal to kill it.

    -- Posted by knuckleball1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:58 PM
  • knuckleball1 you might want to recheck you source of information, you could not be more wrong if you tried. If there is not a specified season for an animal in Indiana it is illegal to kill that animal.In the case of an animal of this nature self defense would certainly be a defendable position to take if the animal was attacking you. Otherwise you cannot just shoot whatever you like when the mood strikes you.

    -- Posted by bigfoot1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 1:17 PM
  • I asked a DNR agent, and i am repeating what i was told. You are making up an answer based on your own opinions, and until you ask someone with authority, you should not try to pass off false knowledge as legal advice on the subject.

    -- Posted by knuckleball1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 1:33 PM
  • They are a protected species on federal list and I am sure this would trump any Indiana DNR law. The federal jurisdiction would certainly apply to Indiana.

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 1:50 PM
  • You only have to google the list to find out that you are wrong. While you're there, google "Where can I hunt mountain lions," and you will find many states where this is allowed. Ahem, there is not legal hunting of any animal on the "endagered species list."

    -- Posted by knuckleball1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 1:59 PM
  • Cougar sightings are no laughing matter and not to be taken lightly. It took me months to come to terms with it... but I was once the victim of a Cougar attack. The Cougar silently stalked me on Main Street, from the Bama to the Goose, all the way to Timeout and even Sally's. The frisky feline plied me with alcohol until I was sure to succumb to its advances. The beast dragged me back to its lair where I was ravaged until the sun came up early the next morning, as the animal had to get some rest due to its advanced age. Though I consider myself lucky as a survivor, I will always carry the scars from that night, reminders of my terrifying experience - claw marks forever entrenched in my back and bite marks tattooing my neck and chest. My advice if you ever cross paths with a Cougar: RUN!!.. or at least stay away from alcohol.

    -- Posted by LexCougar on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 2:20 PM
  • The Eastern Puma, aka Cougar, is on the federal endangered species list, which, I do believe trumps the Indiana DNR's listing, which does not even mention the cougar. The Cougar was added in 1973. There for, I really don't think trying to hunt one would be a brilliant idea.

    -- Posted by mhicks on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:04 PM
  • Knuckelball1 the Eastern Mountain Lion or Puma is on the US Fish and Wilfdlife Endangered Species list. Only a DNA test would determine if the animal in question is an Western or Eastern Mountain Lion. And further I would like to once again assure you that your source of information is incorrect. Under the law in the State of Indiana if an animal is a non-game species without a regulated and assigned season for hunting or harvesting it is illegal to hunt,kill or possess said animal.

    -- Posted by bigfoot1 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:07 PM
  • They say there have been 10-15 confimed sightings of this cat/cats, however there have been many more undocumented sightings then that. I have seen a cat looking almost identical to this one on hwy 42 about halfway between the 59 I70 intersection and centerpoint. It crossed the road right infront of my vehicle at night and I could see it clearly. I have also woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my dogs barking histaricly, I went out on my front pourch and hear a roar like that of a large cat would make and saw somthing run across my front yard and off into the woods. I live less than a mile from the rescue center and I can hear the cats roaring and feeding almost every night, I love to hear them and appricate what they do there, but For people on here to say that it wont come around peoples houses is not a safe theory. However it is unlikly that this cat will cuase anyone any harm.....but I am also a bow hunter and if I am in my stand which is only a few feet from the ground and this cat walked up on me without knowing im there, it could become startled and attack. I would just be cuatious and maybe carry a side arm just in case.

    -- Posted by jakester on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:09 PM
  • hahaha. some of these posts are too funny. lol.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:23 PM
  • The MIA cat from the EFRC is named "Donner"....not "boomer" like someone up above renamed him. Thats been bugging me the entire time ive been reading all of these.....I feel better now.

    -- Posted by WhateversClever on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:39 PM
  • pitbull_advocate,

    I understand you love your breed. You love it not only for it's loyalty but as you stated you love it because you know it will "would destroy anyone who crossed the fence": your words. That is great for you, but if I was your neighbor I would have to live in fear that your dog will decide my kids are worth destroying. IF your dog got out it will think everything is territory.

    You all speak of education but blindly ignore that all dogs can attack but your breed kills more because of it's inbreed fighting instinct and powerful locking jaws. You say it is the people not the breed-- ok, fine: so tell me what I am supposed to do when I live next to a bad owner? I hear "punish the deed not the breed". That is such flawed thinking. I gotta wait till my kids face is torn off or killed before something is done! After the deed it done it is too late.

    Pitbulls attract bad owners because they want a red zone dog, usually because they want anyone on their property destroyed or they get them for a ego trip.

    I have a herding dog; I did not have to teach it to herd. You have a pitbull; you don't have to train it to fight. That is just the way it is.

    I know I can't change your mind and I truly hope your dog does not turn on your family or mine. But you own a loaded weapon whether you admit it or not.

    -- Posted by localgal on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:41 PM
  • I am glad someone has finally got proof of the big cat. I really haven't told many people, for the chances of them not believing me, but I would swear I saw a black one in CenterPoint while deer hunting last year. It was about 6 feet long, 2 ft tall and black with a long thick tail...very fast. By the time I saw it, it was gone.

    -- Posted by ADJ on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 3:49 PM
  • It's really something special to have a hunter give away the location of thier best spots. Thank you ericbeasleyfan09, for being such a good sport.

    -- Posted by JustinH on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 4:49 PM
  • I think anyone that would dare kill this beautiful creature is a absolute idoit!!!!! We need to learn to share are land with the animals that where here first the animals who learned to share with us first !!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by menakisses on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 5:41 PM
  • Seems that my question didn't make it to the news room. I would like to know where Mr Harbour was hunting. I also hunt very close to I-70, If he was on private property Who owns it? I'm 64 yrs old and I've never encountered anything out of the norn, I've hunted this county and surounding counties day and night and I've seen nothing of this kind. I'm not disputing his word though, it could be. I carry a gun when bow hunting which is legal, but I doubt if I would shoot unless I had to for protection. I hope there isn't an ice storm or wind storm that goes through Mr Tafts property, can you believe what could happen????? It almost did last year or before. Then we all could go hunting.

    -- Posted by Katrina on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 6:47 PM
  • like i said, i'm going to try and not debate over this. a, because i have educated myself about and love the breed, b, they have an extremely unfair REP as i stated earlier, and c, this is an article about cougars. most people are going to have bad things to say about pits anyway. to say that just MY dogs will turn on my family one day is foolish, all dogs are capable of this. here's an example of the unfair REP i was talking about. i said because of the increasing cougar sightings i always make sure my 2 dogs are outside with my daughter because i know they would die for her. my 2 dogs also bark at strangers if they get too close to the fence when she is outside, which is comforting to me. shortly after my very first post, a post was made about how pits are such a dangerous breed and they will hurt my daughter one day. that is unfair and ignorant. yes i said they would destroy a person, but only if someone tried to cause physical harm to her. that is one reason most people own any kind of dog to begin with, protection of property and family. if a pit gets loose, that IS an example of a bad owner. they should know better than to purposely or accidentally let that dog loose and take extra measures to make sure it can't get loose, simply because of the reputation they have. my fence has locks on both entrances and i check it periodically for damage and potential areas for them to get loose. just the REP alone will get that dog put down if caught, even if it is the nicest pit ever known. sorry this was so long, and i think this is the last time i will post anything not cougar related. i just love this breed too much to stand by and watch (or read) as people try to get them terminated until extinction.


    u own a loaded weapon too, whether u admit it or not.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 8:08 PM
  • Whats with some talking about cougars in bars. That is stupid you are all trash for making this column a thread about picking up women in bars. Stick with the real story. If you dont have a comment about a real cougar in our community area then dont comment at all!

    -- Posted by max23 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 8:21 PM
  • Yea I understand Max23's point. I don't care to know about other area cougars, as this does none of us any good. However I am unable to name any Brazil community cougars off the top of my head. I haven't been around the local nightlife in quite some time. It has been brought to my attention that some area cougars have made their way over to the Terre Haute area because it is home to much younger prey than what currently resides here. Hopefully I was able to help in regards to cougars, or lack thereof, in our community. Maybe it's not the cougars choice to roam, maybe it's just a scarce amount of young men in the downtown Brazil area...

    -- Posted by AvidHunter09 on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 9:02 PM
  • max23,

    I'm sorry that my earlier post has offended you, but I believe that Cougars roaming near our bars and pubs is the "real story." This is the first confirmed sighting of a cougar in a wooded area of Brazil in years, if not decades. However, the number of Cougars found in and around restaurant and bar districts has spiked in recent years. A 2008 study by the American Statistical Association discovered that 31% of American males between the ages of 19 and 25 had been attacked by a Cougar at some point. That number is as staggering as it is alarming. Because I believe that awareness is the best method of prevention/protection, I saw this article as a good opportunity to get the word out. So I beseech any young males reading this who are planning on taking in Brazil or Terre Haute nightlife to BE CAREFUL... afterall, it's a jungle out there.

    -- Posted by LexCougar on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 9:06 PM
  • -- Posted by localgal on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 9:07 PM
  • aw, come on. this stuff is freakin' funny and good comedy. u gotta be able to laugh at some of these.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 9:08 PM
  • Just another morsel to chew on. Based on some of the postings it appears that there is a shelter for big cats nearby. Now most of these shelters deal with cats that were either home grown and got to a point they were unmanageable. Or, they were wild and for some reason could not sustain themselves in that environment. Understand that most Mt. Lion attacks in the wild occur with animals that are emaciated in some way and cannot stalk normal prey. Keep your guard up in your area, watch your children and watch your pets, livestock, etc. The likelihood of attack is very miniscual but if they are there they need to be respected. Their typical mode of attack on children and livestock is a pouncing and bite to the head. You can search Mt. Lion attacks and see this as a trend. Fighting back is good if attacked. Walking away slowly if encountered. NEVER RUN AWAY!

    -- Posted by wattawatta on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 9:11 PM
  • I understand your love for your dogs,I have no objection to that.

    20 yrs ago I had a neighbor,that like you had a big baby like yours.

    well one sat morning it was on the couch, the 4 yr old daughter was sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching cartoons,when the big baby as you call them , came off the couch and killed the little girl,no reason for it at all.

    I my neighbors and even the mailman testified at the investigation as to how friendly this big baby was.

    Now if you start reading the news from all over you would see how many attacks these dogs have done in recent yrs.

    there are cities on the east coast that its against the law to own one within the city limits and in the county you have to have them in certain type pens period.

    I really hope you never have to experience that,ever.

    -- Posted by T-REX on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 11:56 AM
  • omg. i love how pits are the only breed that "kills people for no reason at all." do more research and you'll find the numbers are not really as dramatic as the media makes it out to be and pits are not the only dogs that "kills people for no reason at all." all pure breeds are very capable of this. mutts are about the only dogs that a person can almost 100% feel safe about. i've owned mutts as well, and i can't explain it, but they are just overall good dogs. the reason pits are starting to become outlawed is because of media propaganda, which in turn makes civilization cry out for the ban and complete termination of the breed. they have scared people into thinking this is the demon breed of all dogs. if you do the research, make sure to look up stubby the pit bull terrier, its pretty interesting.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 1:25 PM
  • The thinking that since all dogs could possibly attack makes them all equal is flawed thinking.

    A BB gun and a AK47 are both guns. A BB gun in theory could possibly kill someone, but a AK47 was designed to be a efficient killer.

    I can't understand how all the examples of pits killing and maiming people is so nonchalantly excused by owners of these dogs. We are talking about human life and they usually go off on kids. We would not give our children a toy that is wonderful for them 90% of the time but could kill them 10% of the time.

    I also don't think owners even consider or care about the fear others have living on the other side of the fence of one. I understand you want protection, but do you consider the cost of that protection to others? You say you make sure they can't get out but you know you can't guarantee it. On top of that there simply are a lot of bad owners of Pits who simply don't care.

    I hear owners say punish the owners not the breed. If we as society are going to allow this then I want to see owners to put their lives on the line to own them. If you choose to buy a muscle breed and your dog attacks, then you should have a mandatory set prison time. You put my families life on the line, so yours should be also.

    Back on topic of the Cougar, we have this animal in our area because once again someone wanted to own a dangerous pet and let them get loose. Now we have a animal that could harm someone. To me common sense has been thrown out the window. No one should be able to own these animals. It is bad for humans and definitely bad for the animal. The history of Pits is horrible, they were bred to fight by bad people. The dogs lived horrific lives and now there offspring are loose in society. Cougars never should of been bred for personal ownership. No one can give them the life the deserve in captivity. Now because of those peoples bad choice we will have those Cougars offspring in our community. It's just sad for the animals and people combined.

    -- Posted by localgal on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 1:54 PM
  • Okay People Taft is doing a great think instead of the county complaing why not use it as a Tourist attraction? Animals live in the wild you are the ones moving into there area! Deal with it. I have a cat in my woods I've seen it & we dont tell people cause we dont want someone to be dumb & try to shoot it.Oh yeah its not one of Tafts it was there before he ever started rescuing them.

    -- Posted by confused33 on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 2:18 PM
  • I don't think anyone was complaining about the Animal Rescue. They are not there because it is good to own a big cat. They are there because of humans doing the wrong thing. The cats do not come from good places, but sad histories caused by humans. That is the act that need to be outlawed, private ownership. If you loved the animal you would want it to be the way it was supposed to be, free.

    I would guess that the big cats wondering free in Indiana have also come from bad situations. I have no idea of the origin of the cat in this story. We do know the rescue lost a cat, my point is that that isn't acceptable.

    -- Posted by localgal on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 2:33 PM
  • u obviously have a biased opinion about pits, as do i. no matter what is said you will target pits and obviously make an argument of why they are such horrible animals. u say pits attack kids as though they are the only breed that does this. they are not. the pits it sounds like you refer to are the muscle freaks, which although are still good dogs, i do not condone or support this type of breeding nor support any kennels that do this. one of my dogs looks like petey from the little rascals, except a different color. and why do you phrase it like this, "all the killings?" how many killings are there? do you know this, or is this just something very easy to say or type? yes, there has been attacks, but every time a pit attacks, compared to a black lab, golden retriever or dalmation for example, it makes national news. i never once said i just own my dogs for protection, and yet it has been made out like that is my primary reason for owning them. that is an example of a bad owner. i own my dogs because i love them and know how good they are. protection is just one of the perks, and they are protective of my daughter the most. in your opinion i put your families life on the line by having this type of dog. well, in my opinion you put my families life on the line by owning a dog as well. to you that may seem unfair, but how do you think i feel hearing something like this many times, it is unfair. are you willing to put your life on the line and serve prison if your dog attacks as well, because it is foolish to think your dog is any different than mine. u say me owning a pit is like owning an ak47, so what would be a bb gun, a pomeranian? research pomeranian attacks and you will be suprised at what u discover. i'll tell you what is flawed thinking. flawed thinking is saying MOST pit owners are bad owners. no, most pit owners are good owners, but because of a few bad apples we ALL get categorized with the bad owners. pits were once a beloved creature by american society, but now because a few attacks shown on the news, ignoring other dog attacks, pits are hated among american society. pits are a good and loyal breed. they were breed for that, athletisicm, and hunting, not just to fight. take mike vicks dogs for example. his pits were fighting dogs, most of them have been rehabbed and are in good households now. these are professional people saying these dogs are stable enough to be put in a their homes. and i'm sure nothing will ever be said about these dogs again because they won't do anything wrong. but nothing will be said about what they have been doing right. what would the little rascals think about this? poor, poor petey, lol.

    now, i know i said i did not want to turn this into a debate, but who am i kidding? anytime a pit is mentioned a debate ensues.

    this is just one of many websites you can find when you research instead of just taking the medias word for it.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 5:43 PM
  • These comments have gone way off task. We need to get back to the real story here and that is cougar control.

    -- Posted by Brazilian Wax on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 6:51 PM
  • Enough about the pitbulls I mean I would love to pull a Mike Vick on the pitbull that attacked me. But like Brazilian Wax said the real problem is cougar control. Ahh cougar control, oh.

    -- Posted by ericbeasleyfan09 on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 7:08 PM
  • i understand that and said that with my first two rebuttles, that i didn't want to get off topic. sorry for straying from the topic at hand. last comment not related, promise.

    -- Posted by pitbull_advocate on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 7:50 PM
  • Here is a direct quote copied & pasted from an Indiana conservation officer regarding whether or not it would be legal to shoot a cougar:

    "Technically, they are protected. However, you have to right to protect yourself from immediate bodily injury or death. DO NOT MISTAKE this as an excuse to shoot something just because it is there and then claim self-defense. The burden of proof will be on you proving that it was in self defense."

    -- Posted by tskin on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 9:45 PM
  • To stay on task about animal control..

    How do we define and control bad animal owners whether cougar or aggressive dog breeds? Both categories require that the owners understand and control their animals.

    I truly want the insight of people who defend ownership of these animals. It easy to say that it's just the bad owners whose animals attack. How do we actively protect the community BEFORE someone is maimed or killed. Debate is good, but just leaving it at debate doesn't solve the problem.

    I really would like to see real working ideas from those who want to own big cats or muscle dogs. Fix your community, just don't defend. I really do want to hear your ideas.

    -- Posted by localgal on Thu, Oct 15, 2009, at 10:02 PM
  • Holy cow! localgal and a couple of others, get your own forum, blog, or something to vent your anti-pitbull stuff on. This article is about a cat in a place that is not its natural habitat, and how a hunter happened to be in a place to take such an awesome photo.

    I think it is so very cool that this hunter was able to get this photo. The sad thing is, this cat is all alone out there, most likely. Not that I want to see the area cleared of any feral animals, but for the sake of the cat, I am hoping someone is able to capture it and take it someplace where it can live and breed with others of its kind.

    -- Posted by olmedic on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 12:37 AM
  • Olmedic,

    I know pits are not part of this story, but animal control is. The Cougar is out there because at one time it was bought by a private citizen and got loose or was at the rescue and got loose. My point is how do we practically pass laws to regulate the ownership of these animals so the community is safe. The issue is really the same. Once the cat is out there it is very hard to catch it without killing it. This is a person problem not a cat problem. We could end this problem totally by banning the private ownership of these animals that was never meant to be a pet. The rescue could stay open, but they will eventually not receive cats from tragic private ownership.

    -- Posted by localgal on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 8:33 AM
  • This has turned stupid

    -- Posted by max23 on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 10:43 AM
  • Who would win in a fight cougar or a pitbull? I think that is the real question here.

    -- Posted by Brazilian Wax on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 11:30 AM
  • max23,

    I know you are but what am I.

    -- Posted by ericbeasleyfan09 on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 12:42 PM
  • WOW what a day... you all must be tired... localgal want's to chip away still further on our rights... rights to freedom are what makes us great... do not be in such a hurry to change that no matter how small you think they are... we do not need a few deciding on what is write for all... we have Washington for that and look where that has gotten us. The big cat will live until it dies same as the rest of us... if you don't like what is in the country STAY IN TOWN!!! It was a great picture and I wish I had been in that tree stand to see it. If you don't have a dog get one they are great... if you do have a dog love them because they don't live that long... AS for dog attacks... I am always reminded of what I was told by an old man when I was very young. I asked him if his dog bites? He said to me "he's got teeth ain't he" I found through the years these are words to live by. Every animal with teeth bites even humans so be carful... and remember not to bite each other.

    -- Posted by thiscantbehappening on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 4:26 PM
  • I have heard the IN DNR have been releasing cougars in In. to slow down the deer population. When ask if this is true they say they have no knowledge of it. That way they are not held responsible if damages occur. This cat that was spotted is more than likely not the same one that was spotted around Deming Park a few months back.I have heard from reliable sources of spottings up around Fallen Rock in Parke county. That was several years ago, but all these sightings cannot be the same cat.

    My husband and I have hit 3 deer in our car in the 7 years we have lived in southern Clay county. I agree the "cats" are dangerous but so are the deer.We have decided to carry a hand gun whenever we go fishing or mushroom hunting.

    -- Posted by uwanabeleafit on Fri, Oct 16, 2009, at 5:25 PM
  • There are no known cougar populations in Indiana

    The State of Indiana classifies the cougar as one of it's ENDANGERED,THREATENED &RARE VERTEBATE &


    this is taken from the web site.

    -- Posted by OLDTIMER42 on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 10:22 AM
  • Cougars are NOT on the state of Indiana Threatened or Endangered list:

    but they ARE protected by Feds (endangered):

    and previous poster's statistics clearly indicate Pit Bulls are responsible for over 1/3 of all known breed fatalities in the US (70 of 199 deaths), thus, assuming pitbull owners are not all idiots, then the breed is more dangerous to humans:

    -- Posted by mfreelander on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 11:07 AM
  • I have spotted 10-20 cougars in Southern Clay County over the last 7 years.

    They are always near The park and they run in packs.

    I know you dont believe me so here are 100s of pics.

    -- Posted by Kirk Smith on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 2:10 PM
  • Kirk,

    Those are some cute cougars!!!

    -- Posted by localgal on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 9:57 PM
  • Well... one of Indiana's unknown, ENDANGERED, THREATENED,RARE VERTEBATES,just had it's picture taken by Mr. Harbour!!! Known or unknown I think the state of Indiana has a population of cougars. I also think grey wolves are edging back in. They are simply following the game(deer).

    -- Posted by uwanabeleafit on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 10:00 PM

    Any animal species whose prospect for survival or recruitment within the state are in immediate jeopardy and are in danger of disappearing from the state. This includes all species as endangered by the fed. gov. that occur in Indiana.


    -- Posted by OLDTIMER42 on Sat, Oct 17, 2009, at 10:36 PM
  • One of the bigger questions is are these animals having litters? It's one thing if a pet escaped and another if they are truly repopulating this area.

    If so we will have to think a different way about what is currently native to Indiana.

    -- Posted by localgal on Sun, Oct 18, 2009, at 7:02 PM
  • Localgal, I can assure you that if the cougars in this area are breeding, their numbers would pale in comparison to domesticated animals (cats, dogs) in this area.

    I for one was IMPRESSED AS H*LL with the cellphone camera shot of this beautiful creature .. and .. AND I have children who play outside. Safely, even.

    I am no more afraid to be in the country with or without the cougar.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Oct 19, 2009, at 7:40 PM
  • Alot of these post show the mentality of some of our county citizens.

    -- Posted by max23 on Tue, Oct 20, 2009, at 6:01 PM
  • Whateversclever....

    Thanks for the correct name of the escapee. I knew when I started typing Boomer (it's her brother's name, all coming back to me now) that it wasn't right. Appreciate it!

    -- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Oct 22, 2009, at 1:34 PM
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