Rare cougar shot, killed near West Point Lake
By STACY SHELTON
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
An extremely rare, 140-pound male cougar was shot and killed near West Point Lake last month, according to Georgia Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster.
The large cat was inspected and showed signs that it had illegally been held in captivity, including abrasions, Forster told the Board of Natural Resources on Wednesday.
Forster said his division is working with officials in Alabama to identify the cougar’s captors and had a couple of suspects. But he also acknowledged “we may not ever know.”
Forster said the division often gets reports of cougar sightings that don’t pan out. Cougars, which are listed as endangered animals by both the state and federal governments, are believed to be extinct from Georgia.
The decline in their population is linked to the first European settlers, who killed cougars and other predators to protect their livestock, according to the DNR.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org