Peter OShea, a retired NYC Police Sergeant who now lives in the St. Lawrence County town of Fine, is a respected naturalist with a passion for the big cats. He has taken on the task of researching lions in the park. He has documented numerous cases, although he has yet to see one personally.
I feel there was a vestigial population, based on anecdotal evidence, that begins in the 1920-30s and continues to this day, OShea explained. I have no doubt that they are here! The truth should come out.
Mark Brown is a retired NYSDEC Furbearer Specialist from the Warrensburg Headquarters. Brown is a man of the woods and spent most of his career there. Certainly he should know about lions.
Ive gotten to the point where I dont question anything anymore, Brown revealed. I once had a trapper from Queensbury that brought in a badger he had snagged. We dont have any badger in the park, but there it was.
In all my years with the state, Ive never seen a native born mountain lion. My feeling is that these cats are out there. I dont know where they came from, possibly from pets that were released.
Brown continued, We really dont have any idea of whats out there. I dont doubt theyre here; youd be amazed what people will bring in.
You never really know what may have been released over the years on some of the large, private properties in the park. They've introduced such animals as elk, sitka deer, Russian boar and other exotics. Animals dont respect property boundaries.
And look at others that have arrived, he said. I never thought that turkeys could live in snow country, but theyre everywhere. Consider bald eagles and Canada geese. So many species have adapted so well, nothing would surprise me.