I always enjoy receiving reports of nearby panther sightings. Here's the latest comment left in response to Panther Watch Update:
Just returned from Pigeon Forge and have been scouring the internet for information on big cats in that area. At around 4:30 am mon. morning, I was alone on the front porch of our cabin. I was listening to racoons tussling in the woods across from me. I glanced to my right and saw a LARGE cat checking me out. I was stunned and honestly, scared to death since I was alone and everyone else was asleep AND the front door was closed.
We locked eyes for about 30 seconds before I started slowly walking backwards to the door. He was not afraid of me and actually turned and looked like he was going to walk away, but he just repositioned himself then crowched down...his eyes still locked on me. I backed my way into the cabin and turned the porch light off and squatted at the door to look outside. He eventually came down through the yard and walked across the porch right in front of me.
The moon was shining, so I could see him and how large he was. He was the size of a Yellow lab that I used to have. He was NOT the size of a big house cat. I have a picture of the spot where he was sitting and I have the image of him sitting there permanently burned into my memory. I would say that sitting in the position he was in, he sat at least 3 feet high. I DID find prints in the area he was sitting and they were about 2 1/2 to 3 inches across. We were staying in Pigeon Forge in a cabin on Misty Lane.
One more thing, while the cat passed by the front of the door of the cabin, I realized that there was a racoon that had made it onto our back porch and was eating out of the garbage can. Could it be that the BIG CAT (cougar?) was actually after the coon?
I wish I knew who to talk to. I BELIEVE I saw a cougar. He was just too big to have been a bobcat.
[From Leslie Goode, Byram, MS, July 23, 2010]
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