Pennsylvania is home to a variety of wild animals, we can count on witnessing wolves, bears, foxes, bobcats, and elk. But we do not expect to see mountain lions because the Pennsylvania Game Commission, they are not inhabited in the state.
So, what exactly has happened to them over time?
In this article, I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the mountain lion in Pennsylvania.
Are There Any Mountain Lions In Pennsylvania?
Mountain lions are large cats that are also known as cougars. They were historically a very common predator in Pennsylvania until a variety of prey loss (especially elk and deer), range-wide habitat loss, and predator eradication projects in the 1800s forced them to extinction across the state subsequently at the end of the century.
They were also seen as a threat to livestock, humans, and gaming species, resulting in complete harvests in some states. The last wild mountain lion was killed in the year 1871 in Pennsylvania. Though there have been a few reports of wild mountain lion sightings in Pennsylvania, none of them have been confirmed to be wild mountain lions.
These reports generally involve individuals that might have migrated to the state from nearby neighboring states, like South Dakota or Colorado, where the populations of mountain lions are still viable inhabitants.
The closest breed residents of mountain lions are in Nebraska’s Niobrara River Valley, which is about 1,000 miles away from Pennsylvania’s eastern border. However, currently, there are no confirmed breeding inhabitants of mountain lions in Pennsylvania.
Can You Shoot A Mountain Lion In Pa?
In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to kill or shoot a mountain lion, as the Pennsylvania Game Commission has categorized them as an endangered animal in the state.
Thus, hunting or killing of mountain lions is strictly forbidden. However, if mountain lions cause damage to livestock and are a threat to human life then they can be taken down with the help of the division by filing a report to them where they will capture them and prevent them from imposing death or harm.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US
Can You Own Mountain Lion In Pa?
In Pennsylvania, you must obtain a permit to own exotic animals that are recorded as exotic wild animals by the state. This includes all coyotes, bears, lions, leopards, tigers, cheetahs, jaguars, wolves, and any other hybrids of the mentioned animals.
Possession, importation, or sale of these animals without appropriate permits is against state regulations which can lead to fines or even imprisonment.
They implement laws that safeguard native wildlife and control the illegal business and ownership of wild or exotic animals. Also, mountain lions are wild animals, and possessing them as pets pose substantial threats to both the animals and the public.
What Big Cats Live In Pennsylvania?
Bobcats, also called bay lynx, swamp tiger, and red lynx, are currently the only wild cat predators present in the state of Pennsylvania. They have yellowish-brown eyes, black ears, and reddish-brown to gray coats, with black or reddish-brown spots. Their back legs are a bit smaller than their forelegs.
Also, their thick hair coat, makes them appear bigger larger than they are, and the height of their shoulders. They weigh anywhere from 13 to 29 pounds and 25 to 41 inches in length. Their tail can be about 3.5 to 4.5 inches and 21 inches in height.
Bobcats usually live in a big variety of regions that range from swamps, forests, deserts, and scrubland. Though they prefer rabbits, they prey on anything and are well-adapted to shifts in the environment. They can effortlessly swim and climb trees but would preferably be on the ground.
Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In Illinois
And that was everything you need to know about the Mountain Lions In Pennsylvania. I hope this article answered all your queries.
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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.