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LOCAL DOMESTIC ANIMALS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LIONS; WILD HOGS ON THE INCREASE

Eastern Mountain Lion Mystery    

EVIDENCE INDICATES MORE LIKELY A LARGE BOBCAT

Reports have been circulating in the community for weeks about wild animals attacking some domestic animals. The reports usually involve what some believe to be “mountain lions”.   In fact, a photo was circulated earlier in the year of a mountain lion apparently stalking cattle near a local dairy farm.

The latest reports are of a mountain lion reportedly attacking a dog in the Laurel Park area, and of one attacking horses in the Willow Creek area.

Andy Unguris with Henderson County Animal Services tells WHKP News they have received these reports and have investigated, but they can find no evidence of a real mountain lion attack. He said the Laurel Park incident was believed to involve a large ”bobcat” and the paw print of the wild animal involved seems to support that .

WILD HOG POPULATION IS UP

There have also been reports of an increase in the wild boar, or wild hog, population…especially in the Mills River area. Unguris says wild hogs have been on the increase for a number of years in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but he’s quick to point out that in most cases, the hogs involved are tame ones from hog farms that have gotten loose and escaped into the woods. And usually, they shy away from people and are not dangerous.

Unguris also says that the internet and increasing use of social media has led to a lot of speculation and rumors about wild animal sightings and attacks, but again, there is little or no evidence to back them up.

He explains that according to North Carolina wildlife officials, mountain lions in the mountains of Western North Carolina are a thing of the past and simply no longer exist.

BLACK PANTHERS (PAINTERS)?

There have been some recent reports too of panthers, or what mountain folks used to call "painters", sighted in the area.  One in particular was in the Forge Mountain section of northwestern Henderson County a few months ago.  But in the opinion of NC wildlife officials, the black panthers or "painters" that once roamed the mountains threatening livestock and humans alike, and that had a piercing, horrifying scream, no longer exist in this area..

    A BLACK MOUNTAIN PANTHER OR "PAINTER"

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

12/12/14  Updated 7:30pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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