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2 sightings by different people in Whitney Point NY by I-81

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Joined: 14 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject: 2 sightings by different people in Whitney Point NY by I-81 Reply with quote

In November I was driving from Syracuse to Binghamton at 10:30 am. Soon after I passed the Whitney Point exit, but well before Castle Creek, I saw a very large dead cat on the left shoulder of the road. The face was rounded-a cross between a raccoon kind of face and a domestic cat.-sweet and round. Height wise it was about the size of a St. Barnard but it was thin and it build was more similar to, say a Great Dane. It had a very long tail that had fur that was straight (not fuzzy or curly) and the tail was rope-like and it curved around to the front of the animal. The legs were long. The color was very close to the red you would see on a domestic red cat-solid color not spotted and not merely tan with redish tint-but clearly orange red. I would say its back would have been about 2-3 feet off the ground had it been standing. It was thin and the fur on it was not fuzzy but short. I was traveling at 65mph and by the time I had processed what I saw it was too late to easily pull over. I was late too. I called the police (I think Castle Creek but can't recall-maybe Broome county sheriff- not sure.) and the dispatcher showed interest. She said she would have someone check it out. I called her later that day. She said she was so curious about it that she went herself during her lunch hour but by then it was gone. She said someone probably took it for the fur. Then she started listing the kind of animal it could have been.

Now, I know nothing about wild animals but was surprised by the animals she listed because they were the sort of animal I assumed existed only in places like Africa (I've got the suburban NY-view of the world) or the zoo. I began to google the various animals she suggested to compare to what I saw. What I saw was clearly most similar to a mountain lion. But, the face was round and did not have the long muzzle that the pictures show. So, I think it was probably young-although the pictures of the young mountain lions suggest that they are not solid in color. Maybe there is an adolescent period when the body becomes solid color and the face is still round?

It was only after I looked at pictures of all kinds of animals that I started to read about Mountain lions in NY. I had no idea there was any controversy about whether they exist or not. (I add this because I have no vested interested in proving that they do or do not exist) I did not know they ever existed in NY. In fact, I would have been quite surprised to hear that they existed in this country at all..anywhere. So, when the dispatcher mentioned things like mountain lions and panthers I was very surprised. I posted a description of what I had seen on Topix in the hope someone else had seen it and could let me know what it was. All I got was a few snide comments. Then I started to google more seriously because it began to bother me that I could not figure this out. At that point I found this post

"05-05-2011, 06:48 PM #1

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 158
Mountain lion sighting
First, let me state that I have all my faculties, excellent eye sight, and am not given to exaggerations.

Today, while traveling south on Interstate 81, between Syracuse and Binghamton, I saw a Mountain Lion / Cougar/Panther, pick your noun. !! 100% positive, absolutely no doubt. There is ZERO chance that it was anything else. The only other thing it could have possibly been { other than a live mountain lion/cougar/panther } is a full body mount of a mountain lion/cougar/panther and someone pulling a prank. It was less than 100yds off the West side of the road, sitting on top of a section of rock/cliff that the highway had been cut through. It was sitting on it's haunches, leaning forward, ears forward, looking down onto/across the highway. It was about 30-40 feet above the highway. Just before the " Castle creek 1 mile " highway sign.
When I screamed " holy F%^K, a mountain lion, scaring the S#$T out my buddy who was driving almost lost control at 75 mph.

An absolutely beautiful animal, well muscled, excellent specimen. Up until now, when ever I've seen reports of sightings, I've taken them with a grain of salt. No more!

Anyone know of any other recent reported sightings in that area?

Wldnerness: Can you put me in touch with any of the state Dec/Rangers/etc from that area?"

And my post on Topix was as follows:

East Syracuse, NY


huge red fox, moutain lion or lynx on I-81 (S) near Castle Creek

Nov 9, 2011

Did any see a dead huge cat like animal on the southbound side of I-81 about a mile closer to Syracuse then the exit for Castle Creek. It was on the left lying an its side, obviously dead and huge. If you did see it, or heard someone else talking about it, what was it? It looked like it had a body like a mountain lion, a long tail with long fur-not bushy and a face that was rounder like a lynx.Its color was pretty uniformly red-not mixed or strips or anything like that. I was moving too fast and, once I had processed what I saw, I had gone too far to see it. Apparently someone picked it up, probably for its fur, because it was gone soon thereafter. I saw it at around 10:40am Tuesday morning. If you did not see it but are familiar with the wild life around there, any ideas? Any information would be appreciated.

What do you think? These two sightings are at identical places. I do not believe that they are both mirages. Also, if the one I saw was young(I'dsay it was the size of a great dane-maybe a little shorter but thin like a dane rather than like a , say, St. Bernard) , it would not have been as visible to a driver on I-81 6 months earlier. The one I saw was not so big that it would have been very visible to drivers if it were on the top of a hill. That means that the one I saw could have been the adolescent offspring of the one seen by the earlier poster. If so, maybe there is a den nearby. I know exactly where I saw the dead animal so a wildlife person or ranger could easily investigate. If the other poster saw the parent in May and I saw a dead adolescent one in November I bet that there is one that has set up a resident in the area. What do you think? Thanks
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Joined: 06 Dec 2010
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Location: Helderberg Mountains bordering the Bozenkill Creek

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not know if what you saw was a mountian lion but I DO believe they are here.
Hunts with Camera
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Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not heard of this cat being hit but did just get a call of another. I am hoping someone has a picture of this and will show up with it soon.

The highway department is quick to remove them. I have also have people sight police tarping over dead Mt lions and packing them into trucks.

One day we will have a bold enough person to run to me or the news with these photo's!!
Thanks Lionsandtigers...keep us posted on what you hear...this is not the end of this story Idea Idea

Cougardaville Wink

13years of dedication Studying "Cougars" taking sighting reports, Tracking & Filming the wild!
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