Air Date: Week of September 13, 1996
Facts about... the catamount, a New England mountain lion.
CURWOOD: A hundred and fifteen years ago, near the town of Bernard, Vermont, Alexander Crowell shot the largest recorded panther ever killed in the state. It was 7 and a half feet long, a catamount, weighing in at more than 180 pounds. At the time, experts also thought it was Vermont's last catamount, and many were glad to be rid of the predators. But it wasn't long before the big cats appeared to be prowling in the Green Mountain State gain. Reports of sightings began to circulate in the 1890s, but rumor wasn't confirmed as fact until almost 100 years later. Two years ago this month state fish and wildlife officials confirmed the presence of 3 panthers: a mother and her 2 cubs, near the town of Craftsbury. The animals are being studied from afar, so we don't know yet whether they are catamounts or another subspecies of panther that's become the cat of the Green Mountains. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
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