Eastern Cougar Considered Extinct

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has declared that the eastern cougar is extinct. Experts say that many people report cougar sightings- but they are not seeing native eastern cougars. The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant reports that people might be seeing cougars that have traveled from other regions.

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The US Fish and Wildlife Service has declared that the eastern cougar is extinct. Experts say that many people report cougar sightings- but they are not seeing native eastern cougars. The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant reports that people might be seeing cougars that have traveled from other regions.
GRANT: Kerry Gyekis is a forester who spends his time in the wild areas of Pennsylvania. He also works for the Cougar Rewilding Foundation. Gyekis isn't surprised that the US Fish and Wildlife service has concluded that the eastern cougar should be taken off the endangered species list, and considered extinct.

GYEKIS: I have gotten thousands of sitings over the years. Literally thousands. And that's not an exaggeration. And none of them have been the real thing.

GRANT: Gyekis says experts believe there are young male cougars from other regions - especially the west and south - that have been trying to make their way to the eastern U.S. But none have proven to be native cougar that have survived in the east over the past hundred years. He says other cougars found in the east are those people have kept as pets and then released. The Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing a proposal to remove the eastern cougar from the endangered species list. It will be made available for public comment. For The Allegheny Front, I'm Julie Grant.