Another cougar sighting in Central Ontario!

- August 3rd, 2012


The Central region of Ontario has become a hotbed of cougar activity of late, following an incident in Bracebridge earlier this month, and the trend continues…

While vacationing at his family cottage in the Dorset/Lake of Bays-area last week, Scott Hamilton (not the skater) spotted a very large and mysterious-looking black cat on the edge of the village.

“The cat was about 4 feet in length with a long tail, and was up and down a tree in seconds!” Scott recalls 

Hamilton was so taken aback by what he saw that he picked up the phone and called nearby Guha’s Lion and Tiger Farm, to see if any big cats had escaped.

Guha confirmed (as they did following the Bracebridge cougar shooting) that all their cats where in order, and explained to Scott that what he saw was, most likely, a jaguar.

Scott asked around and no one else had seen any large cats lurking around town.

Evidently this black cougar is on the prowl in the Dorset-area; creating even further mystery at a time when big cat sightings seem to be popping-up behind every tree in Central Ontario.

Although black cougar sightings are even more rare then the typical brown cougar sightings, there have been a handful documented over the years.

Back in August, 2010, a farmer in Wainfleet near Lake Erie, snapped this trail-cam image of, what appears to be a large black cat with a long tail; looking very much like a black cougar.


At the time, Ontario’s foremost cougar expert Dr. Rick Rosatte, dismissed the image as nothing more than “an eye-bending perspective on an overfed tomcat”

With this latest big black cat sighting in Dorset, the myth and mystery of the cougar(brown or black) continues …

I urge folks in the Dorset-area to keep on the look-out for a large black cat. If the Bracebridge cougar serves as an example, this animal in Lake of Bays will likely show its face again.


Categories: Strange

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  1. David Monroy says:

    I was walking my dog yesterday morning in a small forest near black creek, in Toronto. When i suddenly see this very big cat with shinny skin, he was just sitting there about 20 meters away from me. So i took out my phone and recorded him. After a while he got up and i was able to see that this was definitely not a cat but something else. As it was bigger than my dog and I have a malamute, it was very muscular and long with a shinny black coat.

  2. jeff.morrison says:

    Ok David, this sounds like an extremely rare sighting especially considering the location…and should it turn out to be a cougar, I would wager a guess that it’s an ‘escapee’ somehow on the loose.

    Have you reported to Toronto police? Also, I would very much like to see that vid you took..any chance you could send it to me?

    With your permission, I would post it here for readers to enjoy(& speculate on).



  3. jeff.morrison says:

    Hi Denis, thank you for reporting this sighting! I would imagine the ‘black cougar’ reported in that region last summer could be the same one you saw.
    It is somewhat encouraging to know this animal made it through the winter; especially given the severity of winter we had last year.

    Would you mind If I mention you and what you saw in one of my Outdoors Columns?

    You should consider yourself very lucky as seeing that animal is practically one in a million.

    Did you report it to the MNR or any other agency?



  4. Denis Page says:

    Hi Jeff,
    No problem using my sighting as for reporting it to MNR …No, I haven’t reported it but I certainly will…
    All the best

  5. jeff.morrison says:

    Thanks Denis, I have it slotted for this Thurs’s SUN Outdoors Column…will send youm a link to that article when it comes out!



  6. jeff.morrison says:

    Hello David, I have also included your sighting in my Outdoors Column this Thursday, hopefully that’s ok?

    Thanks for the heads-up!



  7. Ryan says:

    I just saw one yesterday out side of Cornwall ontario in a rural area it scared me at first because I didn’t think we had them up here. Hence why I’m online looking for more info. It was about 5 feet long 3 feet tall give or take it was massive. Saw it at 7am but it was too fast to take a pic I kinda rolled up on it.

  8. jeff.morrison says:

    Hey Ryan, thanks so much for stopping by with your report!

    I will direct you to a more recent post on the subject of on link below. I’m also taking the liberty of moving your comment to that post.

    And just so you know, someone else spotting a cougar just the day before you…that one was west of Kemptville. Not so far away.

    It would appear that several of these large cats are on the prowl in eastern Ontario.


    Latest cougar post:

  9. Thomas Bosscher says:

    Glad to see im not the only one in the area who has seen this mysterious cat. This morning at approximately 10:30 in the Smithville area two friends and I were driving past a field and spotted a massive black cat that fits the description mentioned above. Roughly 4 or 5 feet long, 3 foot tail, muscular cat slinking around. We snapped some pictures but by the time we got our cameras out it was too far away to get a clear shot. We haven’t called MNR or the police just yet since we weren’t exactly sure what to do. Just thought we would share our exciting find

  10. Lisa Martin says:

    I saw a black cougar on Thursday morning at 7:00 am on the south east corner of Preservation Park. It was just standing on the trail that is adjacent to MacKinnon Transports parking lot. I was about 50 feet away and had my two dogs. My one dog is a very large golden doodle and was about the same size of this cougar. It just stood and looked at me. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. After I gathered my wits, I quickly got my to the car. I wished I would have been calm enough to take a pic or video with my phone but my initial reaction was fear even though the creature had done nothing untowards me.

  11. Robert says:

    Just this morning at first light I was out trying to call back a large doe. In the field next to me 60-80 yards to my right a large black agile animal ran by, getting closer. I called again. The animal came directly and immidietely through the brush with little effort and minimal noise. It poked it’s head and shoulders out of the tall grass, now less than 8 yards from where I stood with nothing between us. It had a white patch above/on its top lip. At this point I had my bow drawn, not sure why, out of safety concern I suppose. It had responded to my bleet.
    The animal looked up at me, stopped, let out a quick raspy growl, spun and left tracing its steps and back across the field again which gave me another broadside view for 35-50 yards of its travel. I am a seasoned outdoorsman, bow and rifle hunt every season, spend all summer at camp and most fall mornings and evenings in a stand or scouting. I have not witnessed an animal with this dimension or one that moved in such a fashion before.
    It had a short stubby face like a bulldog but its head seemed slightly too small for its shoulders, much like a bullmastiffs.
    The animal was very long and low, its shouders well defined, it travelled effordlessly and quickly with a unique athletic gait. It’s tail from base to tip, if bent the other way, could reach its front shoulders. It dipped down from the body, swept up and the tip was rounded (not pointed like a dog or wolf).
    It had a short coat similar to that of my English Mastiff, but thicker / puffier, and with a slight sheen to it. Jet black in color. My Mastiff would be taller, but not near as long. I would estimate this animal to be of similar size. My mastiff was 190 lbs.
    I live in a semi rural area, Thunder Bay, Ont.

  12. Dena says:

    This past weekend I was looking out my window on the second floor of the house. We have 25 acres of field/woods/creek area, on the outskirts of Oshawa. In the field I spotted a large black cat-like animal. It was in the field approximately 50 feet from our yard. My son went outside, to get a closer look. The animal was taller then my full grown yellow lab dog, but longer and leaner with a long black tail. My son threw some apples from our tree towards it, the animal turned and looked at him, growled and walked away. My son was fairly close to it within 25 feet, he described it, as above with short shiny black hair, looking like a domestic short haired cat, yet bigger and longer then our lab., with bright green eyes.

  13. john says:

    Letting you know that the black cougar is further south than Bracebridge as i have spotted one on my property in West Grey township , it would be aprox. 4ft long and had long tail with hook curle in it , plus just spoted his tracks in my gardine this morning .

  14. kelly says:

    Back in september or october some friends of mine were driving through the woods in sauble beach. This is a remote area in the woods with a sign warning you that you’re on your own, as no help can be reached by a cell phone. A large cat hugging the ground crossed the trail and ran into the woods. They told me later it was black and definately a cougar sized cat.

  15. I have heard cougar growls in the night at my property in Everett Ontario. Most recently found large cougar foot-prints in the snow in my backyard as well as in the mud after a good rainfall last fall but never seen it. We will be posting trail cams to see if we can spot it. I have images of the footprint. This confirmed to be a cougar print comparing prints on the web and assumed to be around 200lbs. I would like those interested in locating it to contact my cell at 705 716 1924-Fabien

  16. Rosmiko says:

    foot prints should not show claw marks as the claws are retractable. Winter tracks in deep snow should show tail drag marks.Large males will kill larger prey approx every 10 days ie deer or horses find one and set up a trail camera.

  17. Keegan says:

    I was going for a jog on a farm road in stouffvillle,on when I came across a big brown cat with black by its mouth as I got told later on was a cougar, it had looked at me and ran off in to the forest at the time.

  18. Rosmiko says:

    Their is no black phase in cougars. Leopards and Jaguars have a black phase.I think people are seeing fisher and do not know what they are. Fisher are also called the black cat in some books. They have become more pentiful and now live farther south. Cougars always have a white moustache.

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