Have mountain lions made their way to East Texas?
POSTED: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 6:51pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 9:41pm
Tyler, TX (KETK) — The East Texas terrain is known for having coyotes and foxes, but mountain lions? Well, the Parks and Wildlife Department in Tyler receives up to six calls a month from residents claiming the cats are in their backyard.
KETK spoke with Dave Holdermann, a Wildlife Biologist, who said, "We do get reports on a regular basis of people in the country side usually, who think they've seen a mountain lion". Most of these calls do not have enough evidence to prove their existence in the area, but at least one claim in the last year, did provide a photo. The mountain lion traveled into a hunting pen, where the camera was triggered. Another East Texas resident claims the heard a mountain lion. The resident said, "We heard one, it sounded like a scream. Like a small kid screaming".
However, the Parks and Wildlife Department is still waiting for more substantial proof Mountain Lions are in East Texas. They are looking for carcasses, paw prints, and even fecal matter. Holdermann said, "The department's objective is to capture or document authentic evidence that there really was a mountain lion there as being reported by someone".
That being said, their existence is not out of the question. The wild cats could happily exist in the area because of the large deer population. Currently there is a group of mountain lions in West Texas, and the creatures are known to travel long distances. Holdermann said, "You're talking about several hundred miles, and it's not impossible for a lion to travel that distance, but it would be uncommon".