West Tennessee Trailcam Captures Image of Apparent Mountain Lion

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has yet to make an official statement regarding a photo of what appears to be a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on private land in West Tennessee near the Kentucky border.

An October 6 press release from the agency reported the photo was taken September 20 by a trail camera on private land in Obion County, though the camera date incorrectly indicated it was taken September 19. The agency said an investigation to solidly confirm the sighting is ongoing, although a TWRA official was unable to recover any tracks, hair or other physical evidence at the scene.

Absher's Blog 10-22-15 12107070_10153332705234545_4636668704066081657_nUnder Tennessee game statutes, mountain lions are a protected species, and cannot be legally hunted or killed.

The nearest states to Tennessee with confirmed breeding populations of western mountain lions include Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.

In recent years there have been documented sightings in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Kansas. Biologists believe those sightings involved young males leaving home ranges in search of new territory.

The TWRA press release indicated a confirmed cougar sighting could be attributed to a transient young male or an illegal release of a captive animal.

Earlier this year, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife announced that a mountain lion killed by a game officer in late 2014 was released or escaped from captivity, and did not find its way to The Bluegrass State on its own. That determination was met with some criticism from other biologists and cougar researchers, who said the animal was more likely a dispersed male from a Western state with an established population.



What do you think? Is this photo a mountain lion? And do you think it found its way to West Tennessee, traveling hundreds of miles from a Western state?








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One Response to “West Tennessee Trailcam Captures Image of Apparent Mountain Lion”

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    Mike Hipshire

    Yes,I think it’s a lion. I sure hope it is. I live in the mountains of East Tennessee and I am thrilled at the thought of them possibly being in this part of the country! If they are not this far east maybe they soon will be. Of course,if one was seen around here,every cattle farmer around would declare war on them! I can hear the tales now!