Another cougar sighting in Central Ontario!

- August 3rd, 2012

 blackpanther

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.

blackcougar

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.

Outdoorsguy

Categories: Strange

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70 comments

  1. Trapper says:

    I hope it makes its way South and West….If I ‘get it’ Jeff I’ll give you the exclusive.

  2. jeff.morrison says:

    And by ‘get it’ you mean a giant Havahart trap, right Trapper?

    Outdoorsguy

  3. fishr says:

    About five years ago, I heard that some people staying at a campground near Duhamel, Quebec (in the Outaouais region) saw two black cougars. Apparently they took some photos of them, though I didn’t get to see the pictures myself.

  4. jeff.morrison says:

    fishr, those cougars were no doubt in search of deer..there’s quite a famous winter deer yard located in Duhamel.

    It always amazes how there can only be one sighting of such an occurrence and no one else ever sees it. I would assume any ‘wild’ cougars are naturally wary and keep a great distance from human activity, while an escaped animal wouldn’t have that natural fear.

    Man, I wish I had seen them!

    Outdoorsguy

  5. fishr says:

    Yeah, Duhamel has a lot of deer and it is very close to the Papineau-Labelle Wildlife Reserve. The town is surrounded by wilderness. There are also brush wolves and some timber wolves that are attracted to the deer there.

  6. Rick Poulin says:

    Jeff we need a forensic analysis of the Wainfleet photo. There must be a way to get measurements off the photo comparing the size of corn kernals(?) in the pile to the cat. To me the cat does not look big enough in comparison to the corn to be a cougar.

  7. Rick Poulin says:

    Jeff we need a forensic analysis of the Wainfleet photo. There must be a way to get measurements off the photo comparing the size of corn kernels(?) in the pile to the cat. To me the cat does not look big enough in comparison to the corn to be a cougar.

  8. mimi says:

    It is probably my Granny’s cat – MIMI – she is black and fat…..lol

  9. Iggy says:

    I saw a cougar last night as a matter of fact, it was black too, didn’t have the long tail but it was crouched ready to pounce upstairs at Maxwell’s. When I saw that I got the hell out of there before someone got hurt

  10. Carol Kennedy says:

    Once in awhile i have to check in on your website Jeff. I thought that I’d comment, just to keep in touch. :)

    It looks like my missing barn cat to me.Now I finally know where he’s gone.
    I’ve never heard of black cougars before. If people have actually seen a large black cat then it’s probably a jaguar, or black “panther” as they’re called, but it’s not likely a cougar.
    The first picture, top of page, sure looks like a jaguar.
    It probably was an exotic, illegal pet, or it escaped from a zoo, like our famous Papanack Zoo.
    I would bet that there isn’t two of them, IMO.
    .
    I’m pretty sure I saw a Sasquatch the other day…..

  11. Sugel says:

    The southern part of Western Australia is a region noted for many ‘panther’ or ‘cougar’ sightings. During 1972 in the state’s central wheat-belt there was a wave of sightings of these big black creatures which had many people in lonely, outlying areas living in fear of attack. In August 1979 it was claimed that these carnivores had killed an estimated 1,000 cattle over the previous 18 months across a wide area from Western Australia to the Northern Territory!

  12. jeff.morrison says:

    Come on Carol, you didnt actually see a bigfoot, did you?

    Outdoorsguy

  13. LeGrand says:

    Guess I should have kept my shoes on.

    LOL

  14. Carol Kennedy says:

    Yeah, Jeff, you should have seen it – big and hairy, with a booming voice and huge feet……..wait, could have been my husband though. It was dark outside. :)

  15. jeff.morrison says:

    OK folks..another black cougar sighting in Dorset-area.

    Stay tuned…

    Outdoorsguy

  16. Tom says:

    This article isn’t what I thought it would be….

  17. jeff.morrison says:

    Ok Tom, go on….it didn’t stop Iggy…hehe

    Outdoorsguy

  18. Iggy says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I was starting to fall asleep

    Off to bear hunt in the Sudbury area, $45.00 for a license even though there is a huge overpopulation
    Dumb dumb dumb

    Should be a lot of fun, hunting with IceKing and IceQueen, both qualified cometent bear hunters, and they hunt with a bow, while I hunt with a slug from a shotgun at 27 yards, can’t wait

  19. jeff.morrison says:

    Sorry Iggs..been away camping in the Adirondacks…ahh, the glorious US of A…hehe

    Now, what where saying about bears? $45.00 not too shabby.

    Outdoorsguy

  20. Iggy says:

    The Ontario government knows it has a bear problem, especially in the north, and most of the people in the north couldn’t care less about hunting them, but if it was cheap, they might, but at 45 bucks for a tags, thanks but no thanks, it’s a way of managing the herd. Even if they charged northern residents a low rate and us townies the higher rate, it would encourage the northerners to step up, and still rape us townies of our money

  21. jeff.morrison says:

    I guess the license costs are all relative. Got my QC non-resident deer license this week (yeah, I know its early) and its $280 for that one. I think the QC moose non-resident is close to $350 now.

    Outdoorsguy

  22. jeff.morrison says:

    Iggy, you’re still going bear hunting up north though, right?

    Outdoorsguy
    P.S. I’m saving the latest cougar sighting news for tomorrow’s Outdoors Column…

  23. Rick Poulin says:

    Iggy a lot of Northern Ontario residents don’t care what the cost of a bear tag is. If they want to shoot one all they have to do is claim it was a nuisance bear. The ministry does not have the manpower to or will to check on these claims so just issue possession permits for the meat. It also saves the ministry from having to deal with these bears. It is kept quiet so no negative press for the MNR. A win win scenario for the MNR.

  24. jeff.morrison says:

    Hmmm, almost makes it pointless to issue any regular fall bear hunting licences..

    Outdoorsguy

  25. GPG says:

    I know some northerners from my moose hunt group have no interest in bears. One of them has been visited a number times on his property. He fires warning shots from his house to scare it (not very effective), because he doesn’t to deal with the clean-up. Many northerners won’t eat bear meat, they have no use for them. If it wasn’t so far, I’d be hunting on his property.

  26. Iggy says:

    Yup, heading up late Thursday early Friday to bear hunt for the weekend, and also I’ll bear hunt while deer hunting at our deer camp during the deer season. But this weekends hunt is strictly a bear hunt, oh and a little Walleye fishing thrown in during the day. I asked Mike about the fish guts if they’d be a good bait and he said he had used it but without much success. He actually collects dead beavers and uses them, I’ve seen it used up there with great success

  27. jeff.morrison says:

    Good luck Iggs! Hope you bag a biggie and have fun in all the fresh northern air.

    Let us know how you make out…say hi to IceKing and IceQueen for me!

    Outdoorsguy

  28. jeff.morrison says:

    Hey, the Outdoors Column is out nice and early this week..me likey!

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/08/15/morrison-time-for-seasonal-changes

    Tks to imacdon’s son for passing along the great photo!

    Outdoorsguy

  29. jeff.morrison says:

    GPG. I wonder why the Northerners wont eat bear meat…Ive had it before and thought it was pretty good. Perhaps Trapper’s rule about not eating animals who eat other animals, applies here?

    Seems these bruins are now viewed more as pests than anything..too bad really.

    Outdoorsguy

  30. GPG says:

    I don’t know why… They say the meat is tough. I’ve also had bear meat before, and I loved it. A dark red meat, very tasty and tender.

    What a great photo of the piebald whitetail! I never knew it existed.

  31. jeff.morrison says:

    Breaking news…a cougar attack in BC:

    http://blogs.canoe.ca/outdoorsguy/safety/child-injured-in-bc-cougar-mauling/

    Outdoorsguy

  32. Iggy says:

    bears eat a lot more vegetation than meat, when they can, but I hear this years berry crop is very thin
    I’m only shooting a big one, I don’t need another cottage bed throw so it’s go big or go home……empty
    Even if I don’t get one, just to watch them is a thrill, and I’ve still got more time in the bush in Dacre to find a big one

  33. paul says:

    Jeff .Last year i got my 20th bear and there is no finer table fare. When a bear roast is cooked right ,you have not had a roast of beef any more tender.No fat, no steroids,no grizzle running threw the meat. You will not get any wild taste as with deer.It is excellent.My kids would go back for seconds for bear before deer. When i do up burgers they are fantastic. I also can my bear meat for quick meals.

    Just a little food for thought.

  34. Alain D. says:

    I agree with Paul. there is no finer table fare than bear meat when it comes to wild Ontario meat.

  35. matt says:

    I agree too , id trade all my venison for a couple bear roasts , i’ve tasted a few and have never had a bad one yet.

  36. Heather says:

    Last week my husband and our dog were out for a walk in the Lake of Bays (Baysville) area. We were staying at a cottage. They were on their way back to the cottage and my husband saw a black wild animal, the size of a large dog, but moved unlike a dog. It ran from one edge of the forest, across the road to the other side of the forest. It moved swiftly. It happened so quickly, he was unsure of what it was. I am wondering if this could be a black cougar. Any thoughts?

  37. omegaman66 says:

    There may be cougars out there but the one in the picture is nothing but a house cat.

  38. R Mckay says:

    Something like that was seen at Man River, SK on Sept. 5/12.

  39. Craig says:

    just saw clearly, large black cat (cougar like) while hiking back to fish at a secluded lake southwest of the Parry Sound area. For sure not a house cat, we were told by our camp manager that the ministry has released black Lynx like cats to control the over population of fischers. Is this true ??

  40. jeff.morrison says:

    Craig, as far as I know, the story about MNR releasing large predatory cats as a sort of biological control is just an urban legend. There is enough evidence and sightings in your area now to prove that a black cougar is likely on the loose. As was proven by the cougar killed near Bracebridge, your animal in question is most likely a captive animal which has escaped.

    All you can really do is report the animal to local police and the MNR and keep an eye yourself. Until an incident occurs where someone or their family pet is attacked, it is unlikely that anything will be done.

    Outdoorsguy

  41. jeff.morrison says:

    R Mckay, was there a black cougar sighting out in your area?

    Outdoorsguy

  42. Drew says:

    So black cougars do exist, I was starting to doubt myself. My wife and I were running a remote campground in SW Alberta a few years back, and as I was heading out late one morning to do the rounds in my truck my Pyranese lunged over me at something to our left. I looked that way to see a long sleek black tail as it dissappeared into the bush. I was used to seeing bears out there, but knew right away that was not a bear tail. No one would believe me that it was black, but I remember it vividly. Thank you for restoring my sanity and my reputation.

  43. jeff.morrison says:

    Drew, you are very fortunate to have seen such a beast..I don’t imagine you’ll soon forget it?!

    Outdoorsguy

  44. Christof Lendman says:

    Well, black panthers are swarming along the
    Beaver River in Cannington, Ontario.
    Of course wildlife officials are poopooing the sightings
    because the animals are black and not brown.
    But they went to the trouble of warning the residents to
    restrict movements of dogs and small children. Why would they do that?
    No one around here takes their dogs onto the trails anymore.

  45. Jamie says:

    Holland Centre On. A few or quit a few years ago I noticed on my parents farm some interesting foot prints. At the time I just thought a dog print had froze and thawed a few ti es making it much bigger. Curiosity made me a little more suspicious as the prints acted more like a wild animal not wondering and leaping large lengths in spots, go figure in my mothers books at home there was a hundred year old book of wild animals in Ontario and as I looked at the prints they matched a puma thought to be extinct in Ontario over 100years. Growing up in that area I have many friends that are hunters anid loggers they also confirmed sightings and reported sighting from friends. The only question is are they accidentally realeased pets that have adapted or are they reproducing. My understanding is that cats are very illusive and have a extremely large travel range. My opinion with friends that are hunters from all over Ontario is the cat is back

  46. The Doubtful Trapper says:

    The book Mammals of North America says “cougars are reported to be particularly fond of horse flesh”. Kyle Knopff’,s research in Alberta confirms this. Since Ontario has 380,000 domesticated horses,I am worried that our cougars may become over weight. Their has not been a confirmed attack on a horse yet in Ontario.

  47. The Doubtful Trapper says:

    I cannot help but think what some people are seeing are fisher. Fisher are a member of the weasel family. Mammals of Canada says”the fisher resembles a large black cat”.They are more plentiful now and their range has expanded south. I hear of fisher south Lake Simcoe. They can be brown to black and their tail is long enough to reach the back of their head. Despite the name ,they live a terrestrial life eating mice squirrels rabbits birds and porcupines Domesticated cats cannot escape a fisher because they are a much faster climber.Their tracks show claw marks because they are not retractable. Many people are not sure what they are. Once I picked up a road kill fisher and asked 6 people what it was. One person in 6 knew what it was. Trappers are able to harvest them for fur as long as you have a quota.

  48. The Doubtful Trapper says:

    This is starting to sound like a broken record . In the last 15 years people have been talking about cougars why is their not a picture of one in a tree like from the west. So fare all we see are questionable pictures. Why is their not a road kill. Lots of people carry camras.

  49. Creeperpse says:

    A farm i hunt on the owner saw his hound jump on the back of something black in the field wasnt big enough for a bear and its to early for small cubs. We were wondering if it where a big black cat. Watever it was it faught the dog off and ran into the bush. My friend who owns the property was on his way to the barn to get a gun and when he got back the hounds were barking at the bush and took off into it. When they came back one had a gash under her eye and the other had a gash on his hip. So hopefully ill see this big bitch.

  50. Denis Page says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I would like to report a sighting of a large Black cat that crossed the road in front of us late this morning…I was stopped by a road crew ( resurfacing on Highway 28 ) south of Bancroft….3 people saw it including the worker we were all puzzled because it looked to be bigger then a Cougar…!May 30th.

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