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I'm not lying, it was a lion!

Im not lying, it was a lion! It would be difficult to mistake a mountain lion for any other creature inhabiting the Adirondack woods. These long, muscular, tawny colored animals sport a long tail, nearly a third of its body in length. The tail resembles a fire hose and the feet are broad, with four digits on hind feet and five on forefeet. The skull is broad and short and the forehead high and arched. The throat and chest are whitish and the face has a pink nose bordered in black.

These large solitary cats have been known to live up to 18-20 years in the wild. Vast home territories are marked by depositing urine or fecal materials by trees highlighted by scrapes. They are primarily nocturnal and often have both summer and winter home ranges, often requiring a migration between the areas.

Mountain lions rely mainly on vision, smell, and hearing and use low-pitched hisses, growls, purrs, yowls for communication. They are known for being stealthy. They quietly stalk prey animals, then leap at close range onto their back and break the animal's neck with a powerful bite below the base of the skull.

They feed primarily on undulates including moose, elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and caribou in North America. They also eat smaller creatures like squirrels, muskrat, porcupine, beaver, raccoon, striped skunk, coyote, bobcats, rabbits, opossums, birds, and even snails and fish. They may also prey on domestic livestock, including poultry, calves, sheep, goats, and pigs.

If you question a gathering of Adirondack sportsmen about lion sightings, initially a few nervous laughs will spread through the crowd. Eventually a couple of hands will sheepishly raise up and a few, brave souls will risk continued laughter to finally share their stories. Then expect the floodgates to open.

Similarly, the same holds true for newspaper articles on the subject. After publishing the first mountain lion story I had a about two dozen letters and e-mails and they kept coming. To date I have almost fifty. Its quite obvious people are seeing something and its hard to understand how they could be confusing it with anything but a mountain lion.

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