Monday 5 January 2015

US SIGHTING: Big-cat sighting startles drivers near Maydelle

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 3:40 pm

CHEROKEE COUNTY – A big-cat sighting in East Texas may be uncommon, but not unlikely, said Billy Higginbotham, wildlife extension specialist for wildlife and fisheries at the Texas A&M research center in Overton.

“It is uncommon, but we have had confirmed sightings of mountain lions in East Texas before,” he said in response to an email claim about a cougar/mountain lion sighted along FM 2138 by a traveler headed toward Maydelle in late November.

“We've seen them confirmed in states much further east than we are here, and in the past 35 years that I have worked in Overton, several (East Texas) counties have confirmed mountain lions being seen. Several years ago, there was one (sighted) in Wood County, and not long after that, there was one in Jasper County,” Higginboth-am recalled. “Is it possible to have them in Cherokee County? It is.”

Reagan Pope, who contacted the Jacksonville Progress by email, said he was traveling about dusk Nov. 22 when “I saw what I thought was a deer just beside the road.”

Because it was growing dark and the weather was rainy, Pope said he was traveling about 45 miles per hour in his vehicle when he spotted the creature.

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