Mountain lions also called cougars, pumas or the Florida panther are one of the most elusive species found in North America.
However, there are no native mountain lions currently in Georgia, but there used to be. So, what happened to them?
Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the mountain lions in Georgia.
Are There Any Mountain Lions In Georgia?
Historically, mountain lions were spread all over North America and Mexico. For many decades, however, trappers and hunters have killed them out of fear for their safety and livestock. Also, farmers and loggers took away land from them and pushed their settled area further from what it initially was.
Georgia was also once home to mountain lions, but as time went by they were either killed, hunted, or pushed off to the west. The final mountain lion is likely to be disappeared in 1900, however, their population is calculated to decline even before that.
Currently, in Georgia, there are no native established mountain lion populations living in the state. However, there have been a few reposts on sightings of mountain lions in the past few years, which are believed to be the ones from small tours by mountain lions who roam out of nearby states like Florida.
Mountain Lion Sightings In Georgia?
Though currently there are no native mountain lions living in Georgia, there have been a few sightings recorded in the past years, out of which three sightings, are deemed to be credible as they have some backing.
However, most sightings of mountain lions are made at night, from a distance, or in where it was only momentarily seen. So, most of the sightings might usually turn out to be just a case of mistaken identity of other big cats.
Was a Mountain Lion Killed In Georgia?
In 2008 when a hunter in Georgia was looking out for hunting deer, he saw a mountain lion and ended up hunting and killing it. On examination, it was revealed that the mountain lion was apparently a Florida cougar that had roamed further north and had been seen by the residents before.
The hunter was charged for hunting a federally safeguarded animal and was fined $2,000 and probation of 2 years. The Florida panther is a subspecies of mountain lion present on the east coast and has a small range that is largely solitary to swamps and pine forests in central Florida.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US
Can You Kill A Mountain Lion In Georgia
In Georgia, mountain lions are classified as endangered species and therefore it is illegal to hunt or trap mountain lions within the state’s border. However, mountain lions can be trapped or killed if needed to prevent them from injuring humans, livestock, or properties. Such killings must be reported to the state authorities within a week of the killing.
Can You Own A Mountain Lion In Georgia
The state of Georgia bans the ownership of all dangerous exotic animals including mountain lions as pets. Even all species of carnivore, exotic cat hybrids, are not legal to be owed as a pet in the state.
Also, the mountain lion is protected under state law, making it to possess, sell, buy, or breed them within the state’s border. The custody of mountain lions is controlled by the state wildlife department to assure public security and the preservation of wildlife.
What Big Cats Live In Georgia?
Although currently there are no mountain lions in Georgia, there are a few other felines found within the state’s border! Apart from the feral housecats, the sole wild cat that presently lives in Georgia is the bobcat.
Bobcats are the most widespread animals of the cat species in the U.S. Nearly every state has a native population of them. They are medium-sized and weigh about 15 to 40 lbs. They have spotted patterns, stubby tails, and distinctive tufts of fur sticking out from their ears.
They are fantastic hunters and mainly feed on rabbits, however, they also have a diversified diet relying on the environment. Typical their habitat is mixed forest and agricultural regions where there is a high percentage of earlier successional phases. Males have larger home sizes when compare to females with males having a size range of 10 square miles.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In Virginia
And that was everything you need to know about the Mountain Lion In Georgia. I hope this article answered all your queries.
Thank You For Reading!
Our Goto Source For This Guide
Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.