Believe it or not, Tennessee now boasts a healthy and sustainable cougar population!
The cougar has long been counted as one of the top predators in North America. Now researchers are confirming that a sustainable population of the large cat are now calling Tennessee their home.
While the population is currently only a handful of animals, Phil Colclough, the Zoo Knoxville Director of Animal Care, says it is likely to be several years before more come into the area.
This report by the local news gives a us an inside look into the situation.
Colclough thinks that the animals are likely to be coming down from the north due to the abundant deer populations found throughout the state.
Experts are suggesting that the return of cougars is likely to be very good for the environment.
“They could control the deer population. It would be huge, think about all the car accidents and the problems deer cause because of their over population,” said Colclough.
The TWRA suggests that a cougar’s home range is up to 150 miles. They also would like to remind people in the area that no hunting season in Tennessee currently exists for these animals. The only situation in which it is lawful to kill a cougar in the state is if there is an “imminent threat of life and injury“.