Dec 162014
 
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The Mountain Lion goes by many different names, cougar, puma, panther, painter, catamount. All of these are just different ways to refer to the same big cat—Puma concolor, the lion of one color.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Puma concolor, the lion of one color. Picture courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain Lions are native to Texas, and there is no question that we do have a healthy population of these big cats living in some parts of the state. The big question on many people’s minds, though, is are they present in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex? The answer to that question is a slightly complicated, Yes, No, and Maybe. Let me explain.

The subject of Mountain Lions comes up frequently in the discussions I have about wildlife in metroplex. Almost everyone I have spoken to has a Mountain Lion story to share. Many claim to have seen one, heard one, or to know someone who has. If all the accounts were true, then we would likely be up to our ears in urban Mountain Lions!

There appears to be a interesting psychology at work here. People REALLY want to see these big cats. Mountain Lions are arguably the most exotic animal that could conceivably be observed in this part of North America. They are big, powerful, and beautiful animals. The appeal is natural and obvious.

I have had Mountain Lions on my wish list for a number of year now, and there is probably no one who would like to find them here in DFW more than I would. Still, I recognize the need for skepticism and hard evidence. Unfortunately, irrefutable proof has been lacking. Furthermore, the ubiquitousness of cameras in the hands of the public make the absence of clear and unambiguous photographs a real problem.

I typically get several reported Mountain Lion sightings each year, and I make a real effort to check out every report that seems even remotely plausible. The map below shows a number of the reported sightings that I have followed up on over the years. This map should not be interpreted to show a concentration of sightings in a particularly area. Instead, it only illustrates sightings that are close to where I live or near areas I frequent. Proximity certainly makes it more likely that I will be able to find the time to stop by and investigate.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

A sampling of reported Mountain Lion sightings from around the metroplex.

The reports I have received over years the have been an odd mix of the possible and the improbable. Some have come from quality observers, but have been in unlikely location. Others have been made in high quality habitats, but the details of behavior or size do not add up. Some of these reports have been very compelling, but to date, none have produced conclusive or incontrovertible evidence. Most are probably best explained as misidentified Bobcats or some other medium-sized mammal like a Coyote or a deer.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Under the right conditions a Bobcat, like the one in this photograph, can be mistaken for a Mountain Lion

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Mountain Lions are as big as people. If you see one, it will be unmistakable.

It is well documented that people are notoriously bad witnesses by our very nature. We all have a propensity to see what we expect to see, and to remember details in a way that is influenced by our life experiences and prejudices. It is not hard to imagine other native animals—particularly when viewed fleetingly through brush or in poor light—being misidentified as something much more exotic and exciting. Below is a little questionnaire I use as a way to broach the particulars with some of the people who report sightings to me.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Did you really see a Mountain Lion?

Another interesting aspect of the Mountain Lion question in North Texas—and all across the country for that matter—are the large numbers of Black Panther sighting that are reported each year. This is a fascinating phenomenon because Black Panthers simply do not exist in the United States. There is no native animal that fits the description of a Black Panther.

Black Panthers—where they do exits—are actually the rare melanistic forms of Jaguars and Leopards. These big cats can be dark enough that their spots become hard to notice at first glance. The problem is that Leopards are native to Asia and Africa, and Jaguars live in South and Central America. Jaguars seldom roam north of the border with Mexico, allowing for only the very occasional sighting of individual Jaguars along our southern border, but there is not a resident population of these cats living anywhere inside the United States.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

A melanistic Jaguar—the so-called Black Panther. Picture courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

So, Black Panthers seen in the United States are not likely Leopards or Jaguars. That leaves the Mountain Lion as the sole remaining candidate. But there are no documented case of melanism in these cats—black Mountain Lions simply do not exist.

If Black Panthers are not Leopards, Jaguars, or Mountain Lions, then what are they? From the looks of things they are nothing more than a psychological phenomenon—a manifestation of the very human desire to see something unusual and exciting. We all have the need for a good story to tell.

Prudence demands that we remain highly skeptical of Black Panther encounters, but Mountain Lion sightings are not as easy to dismiss. When considering the question of their presence in the metroplex one of the first things that must be addressed is whether or not there are adequate resources to support a population of Mountain Lions—or even a single big cat for that matter.

There are a few things that Mountain Lions will absolutely require in order to survive for any extended period of time in a certain area. They will need room to establish territories—lots of it. They will need an ample supply of medium sized game animals to feed on. And they will need a certain degree of seclusion and privacy.

The good news is that there are a number of places in the metroplex that have enough game to support a Mountain Lion or two. White-tailed Deer and Feral Hogs—two of the Mountain Lion’s favorites—have migrated into some of the undeveloped land around the city, and in some cases even followed our greenbelts into the suburbs and the city itself. Unfortunately, places like these still remain very limited in size and scope.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Feral Hogs near downtown Dallas.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Whitetail Deer in The Great Trinity Forest.

We are left with the questions of whether there is enough room in the metroplex for individual Mountain Lions to establish home territories, and also if there is enough seclusion in these places to support the elusive cat’s need for retreat and privacy—two questions that go hand in hand.

Mountain Lions typically defend huge territories in the wild. Females will often stake out anywhere from 30 to 200 square miles as their home range. Males require even larger territories—ranging from around 60 to 300 square miles on average.

The territories of female Mountain Lions will often overlap with those of other females. That factor can allow for a little compression of the space required to support multiple female cats. The territories of male lions, on the other hand, must be separate and distinct from each other. They typically encompass the territories of several female cats—which explains their generally larger size—but there can be absolutely no overlap with another male’s home range.

What this means is that you need a tremendous amount of land to support multiple male cats. This city park or that city park simply will not meet the territorial needs of these lions. Below is a map overlain with typical small and large territory requirements for both male and female Mountain Lions. These shapes do not represent actual territories, only the number of square miles that are required to support a typical home range.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Representative home territory requirements for male and female Mountain Lions.

The geometric nature of the outlines above do not represent realistic territory shapes either. Certainly Mountain Lions defend much more organically defined territories. What this map should illustrate though, is just how difficult it would be for a lion to carve out an adequate home range in the DFW metroplex. Perhaps one or two cats around the fringes of the metroplex would be possible, but anything more is hard to imagine.

This map also does a good job of illustrating the difficulty a Mountain Lion would encounter trying to secure an adequate amount of seclusion in North Texas. Mountain Lions do not like people, and people do not like Mountain Lions. These big cats are like ghosts, and they are rarely seen even in places where they are numerous. As you can see from this map, there are not many places in or around Dallas or Fort Worth where these big cats could escape the presence of people for very long.

I my opinion, the need for large home territories makes it very unlikely that we have many—if any—resident Mountain Lions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. But that does not mean that we never have any of the big cats here. The question is where do they come from?

There is a well documented and healthy population of resident Mountain Lions living in the far reaches of southwest Texas. In addition to these cats, there is also some talk of a small population of resident lions in and around the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. If so, it is conceivable that we get a few cats from there from time to time.

In order for any of these cats to reach the DFW metroplex there must be some kind of a mechanism in place that will encourage them to roam out of their established range and into new lands. In Texas these cats will need to be motivated to travel great distances. As it turns out, there is just such a mechanism.

When young male Mountain Lions reach sexual maturity, they will almost certainly come into conflict with the adult male who’s territory encompasses that of their mother. This dominate male lion will not long tolerate rivals in his home range, and he will work to drive younger males away. Fights can ensue, and the young, inexperienced males are usually at a decided disadvantage. Deaths can result.

Young males that are not killed will roam far and wide searching for a territory to call their own. A key feature of any new potential homeland will be the presence of an uncontested female lion who can serve as a potential mate. In fact, a male Mountain Lion will likely continue to wander until he finds just such a lioness. This then is the primary driving force that would encourage cats to roam as far as the metroplex or even further.

If a young adult male flees to the east or northeast when he is driven from his home, then he will almost certainly not encounter a female lion along the way, and his search will never end. He will continue on for the rest of his life in quest of a mate that simply does not exist. Along the way, these young males will have to run a gauntlet of protective ranchers, opportunistic hunters, and dangerous roads on their way to the metroplex. Few will survive the journey.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

How to get to Dallas/Fort Worth.

With this scenario it is not hard to imagine a big cat making it all the way to the outskirts of DFW, and maybe even following resident deer or Feral Hogs along the Trinity River into the very heart of the metroplex. But there will be no female cats in the city and lots of human activity. I believe the inclination would be for the cat to pass on through and continue on their journey.

So does this scenario actually occur? Evidence would suggest that it does. The map below is from a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department publication illustrating documented Mountain Lion moralities at the county level for the years 1983 through 2005. More information regarding the sex, age, and number of the cats found outside southwest Texas would be need to verify absolutely, but the possibility is clearly illustrated here. And while no cats have been documented here in the metroplex, you can see that they have been found very, very close by.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

This information is almost ten years out of date, which is unfortunate. There seems to be some kind of political motivation for being mysterious about these big cats in Texas and in other states as well. Mountain Lions and the public—especially where children, pets, and livestock are concerned—quickly becomes a very complicated issue.

If we ever do get Mountain Lions in the metroplex, then it seems likely that they will be young, transient males that are simply passing through. That would mean that sometimes we will have a big cat here in the North Texas and at other times we won’t. I think it is safe to assume that most of the time the metroplex is essentially Mountain Lion free.

The wildcard in all of this is the possibility of released exotics—Mountain Lions and other big cats that were kept captive and then for some reason or the other turned loose. For years the laws in Texas concerning the private ownership of exotic animals have been very liberal. From what I understand, keeping Mountain Lions and other big cats—Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars, Lions—occurs to a surprising degree.

Big cats in particular can be difficult and expensive to care for. When it becomes too burdensome to provide adequate care, it is not unheard of for irresponsible owners to simply turn their charges loose. This factor puts a reported sighting of any kind of big cat within the realm of the possible. Its hard to say just how often something like this might happen, but it always must be considered a possibility.

As I mentioned earlier, I have personally checked on a number of reported sightings myself. None of these have produced conclusive evidence for a Mountain Lion. Most appear to be misidentifications of Bobcats. But there was one case that is decidedly more compelling than the others. This one has been much more difficult for me to dismiss.

In this case, I received a report of a Mountain Lion encounter near an isolated pond in northwest Collin County. The observation took place late in the afternoon of a warm day in May. The description provided to me indicated a large cat with a unmistakable long tail. The alleged lion was observed on several different occasions as it made its way around the perimeter of the pond. Eventually, the nervous observer decided discretion was the better part of valor, and she left for home.

This spot was not what I would consider prime habitat for Mountain Lions in the metroplex. Still, this was in a relatively undeveloped part of the county and there were just enough greenbelts leading in to allow for the possibility. This fact combined with the credible account given to me by the observer convinced me to go out and have a look.

Just a few days after I received the report, I stopped by the property and gave the area a thorough once over. The terrain at this location was rocky and covered in a dry granular dirt. There were only a few spots—where water recently flowed—that were good for recording clear track impressions.

I spent several hours combing the perimeter of the pond and the trails leading to it. There was no sign of deer or hog activity, which hurt the case for a lion a bit, in my opinion. I found several Coyote tracks and a few dog tracks, but nothing that resembled a feline track.

The sun was beginning to get low in the sky when I finally made my way around the low ground on the north side of the pond. There I found a little used dirt road running around the perimeter of a farmer’s field. This road was also covered in the same dry, granular soil that was typical of the area—this trail would record tracks, but they would be poor and indistinct impressions at best.

It wasn’t long after I began following the road that I noticed the first unusual track. I was struck by the size of the impression and dismissed as a fluke at first. But then I noticed another and then another. This got my attention. I pulled out my tracking ruler and took a couple of pictures.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

This is a big track.

The track was over 5 inches long and more than 4 inches wide. That is a big track. A little over twelve inches further on there was another equally large impression. The tracks were laid down in pairs with each set about four feet away from the previous two. See the pictures below.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Large tracks found in Collin County.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

The rulers in this picture are 5 inches long.

In the end, the best that can be said for these tracks is that they are inconclusive. Some are round like feline tracks, but others more closely resemble canine tracks in general shape. Regardless, they are extremely large for dog tracks. They are even pretty big for Mountain Lion tracks, which are typically around 3 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide. All that can be said for certain about these impressions is that they indicate that a very large mammalian predator ran down this road just a day or two before I visited.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

Predator tracks compared.

These tracks make for a compelling case, but there is even better evidence that Mountain Lions may occasionally roam into the Metroplex. In late October a trail camera near Glen Rose (just southwest of Fort Worth) recorded the picture below of a young male Mountain Lion as it investigated a deer feeder.

Are There Mountain Lions in The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?

A one in a million shot.

This recording was posted to iNaturalist, and the details can be viewed here: Puma (Puma concolor) observed by sbkucera on October 23, 2014

All indications suggest that this is the real deal. An actual Mountain Lion sighting approximately 40 mile from downtown Fort Worth. The habitat is appropriate, there is an adequate amount of game and seclusion. The observer is reliable, and the cat is a young male as expected.

Unfortunately, the story of this big cat did not end well. Last week this lion was shot by a deer hunter just a few miles from where his picture was first recorded. The story is told here: Glen Rose Hunter Harvests Mountain Lion

iNat-sbkucera-mountainlion-01

A typical outcome.

In Texas, if you have a hunting license then it is legal to kill Mountain Lions without restrictions. Mountain Lions are considered a non-game species, and there is no set hunting season and there are no bag limits. They can be killed on sight. Any time and anywhere.

I am sure that the actual presence Mountain Lions poses many challenging issues. Ranchers and farmers have a need to protect their livestock from predation. People have the right to protect their pets, children, and their own personal safety from Mountain Lions if necessary. It is not clear to me how likely it is that these cats will cause problems when they are in a particular area. But things seem to be a little out of balance when one guy can take a Mountain Lion like this one away from the rest of us simply because it stepped in front of his gun.

Whether we like it or not Mountain Lions may soon be part of the equation in North Texas. These big cats appear to be poised to begin expanding their range out of far southwest Texas. The same is true in other parts of the country as well. Historically Mountain Lions ranged all across North America. They are able to survive in many different types of habitats, including those surrounding Dallas/Fort Worth.

Up until about 100 years ago it would not be unexpected to encounter a Mountain Lion right here in North Texas. The question is are they here now? The answer—as you now know—is a not so simple, Yes, No, and Maybe. If you happen to see one, please drop me a line!

iNat-sbkucera-mountainlion-01

The elusive Mountain Lion. Picture courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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  134 Responses to “Are There Mountain Lions In The Dallas/Fort Worth Area?”

  1. Chris,
    Thanks for the wonderful article! Very interesting, but also incredibly sad to learn about the death of that lion.
    I think it should be mentioned that LLELA has a confirmed sighting of a cougar in 1997 that was verified by wildlife officials. Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge also has confirmed sightings. I can certainly attest to the sheer volume of prey items after a recent trip to Sherman. I saw more deer and feral hogs in one hour at Hagerman than I have seen during all of my other excursions combined. (I had a particularly close encounter with a rather angry sow that I won’t soon forget!)
    I also know that a lot of people have reported mountain lion sightings in Plano along Spring Creek and Windhaven pkwy between the Tollway and 121. (These sightings were from people who strictly maintained that they knew the difference between a Bobcat and a Cougar.) This is not too far from Arbor Hills, which is not too far from LLELA. Until recently there was a pretty much unbroken greenbelt along 121 from LLELA into far west Plano and Carrollton. I would imagine that the recent development of the Nebraska Furniture mart off of 121 between Plano Pkwy and Spring Creek has displaced many creatures. Previously, the site was nothing but open field and forest. Although many new sub divisions have recently been constructed along Spring Creek and Parker, I still see a variety of wildlife in that area. These days I see deer, foxes, skunks, armadillos and such as I drive along Spring Creek towards 121.
    I should also mention that I read awhile back that a Cougar was struck and killed by a car on 380 between the Tollway and 75. I can’t remember where I read this but I will do my best to find the report online. From what I remember the incident was confirmed by a game official, but the event was dismissed so as to not frighten local neighborhood communities.
    I certainly share your enthusiasm to document such a rare creature in the metroplex, but I don’t want to see one up too close! My next question is, when will we turn our attention towards documenting the existence of Black Bears in North Texas? I know that bears have been confirmed in 12 North Texas counties that border Oklahoma, Arkansas or Louisiana, and I know that bears are certainly present in the Texas Hill country near San Antonio and Austin. Since bears range quite far, like cougars, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we have one closer to our neck of the woods. Thanks again for all your hard work.

    • Hi Matt,

      I have seen the LLELA report, and I think it leaves a little room for skepticism… Evidently there was a reported sighting in LLELA that was later verified by tracks found in West Lake Park. West Lake Park, of course, is up by the old dam near the town of Lake Dallas.

      It’s hard for me to imagine a cat making its way from LLELA to West Lake… Did he swim the lake? Did he cross the I-35 bridge? Did he do an end around out by Hickory Creek? It’s difficult for me to judge what is possible in this case.

      As for Black Bears… I think you may be on to something there. The possibility of Black Bears making it into the metroplex is a very interesting topic, and there may be an article on that subject coming some time in the near future!

      -Chris

    • My name is James and I saw (along with my wife) a cougar in Arrowhead Park in the Town of Hickory Creek at Lake Lewisville in early August 2016 about 5pm… Arrowhead Park is just off the Lake Dallas exit at 35. We were driving on the road inside the park when we witnessed the cougar.
      The cat just casually walked across the road inside the park from brush on one side of the road and went into the brush on the other side of the road. We saw it for about 3 or 4 seconds from about 60-70 yards away. It had a the long tail so NOT a bobcat and easily 5 to 6 feet long. I was surprised to see it myself… since the park is bordered by 35 on the west, the lake to the south and a residential area on the north and east. But I suppose it can slip thru the neighborhood unnoticed at night.
      I work inside the park and have never seen a cougar there before… have seen a coyote once before though. No mis-identification on my part… I’ve watched wildlife programs all my life, been to big cat sanctuaries and have even been on safaris in Africa and South America. I know the difference between a cougar and a bobcat.

      • I live off 288 in denton texas and mouthing lions and bobcats frequent my backyard. The bobcats actually feed in the yard and the mountain lions typically seem to be passing through. My yard is only an acre so I never expected to see any wild animals specially since the street in front of my home is constantly busy. The bobcats typically will do the stop and stare down like it’s their territory. The mountain lions typically just are prowling across my yard. If we don’t cut the back half of the lot they will not walk through the tall grass instead cut close to the house through the mowed portion.
        Another interesting thing I saw but do not know the name of was a large cat dark brown in color small head, small ears, a tail nearly as long as it’s body. It was as if the front legs were shorter than the hind legs. It was not a bobcat but it does resemble a mountain lion in size. However I was told there is no black cougars in texas. Is that correct?

      • That is right, Brittany, a dark cougar has never been documented in Texas or anywhere else for that matter. We would love to see pictures of the cats you are seeing if you would care to share.

      • The dark cat you described has to be a jaguarundi. My husband just saw one, your exact description in Wylie.

    • My neighbor spotted what she and her husband believe to be a mountain lion in the Sanger TX area this past weekend! Long tail, dark color, large head and about 45lbs they guess. We are in a fairly remote area, many coyotes and deer close. He was in a 25 acre hay field that hasn’t been mowed in a long time, so its very high. They recently got goats and chickens so perhaps he’s stalking.

      • We saw this cat in our property this week hunting squirrels. A few weeks ago, we even had a partially eaten dog caracass on our property here in Coppell. Looks like a mountain lion. How can we upload a picture here?

  2. I detest that expression, “harvested a mountain lion.” You harvest tomatoes, not a wild animal. Somewhere, there is a parallel universe where the critters can shoot back.

  3. I really enjoyed your informative writing, well except for the reader’s comments at the bottom. I can relate with you on the constant “reports” of mountain lions in North Texas, and it seems that the majority of them are “black”. I spend more hours in the outdoors than nearly anyone, and in some very remote wilderness areas along the Red River, and I have yet to see a lion or it’s track. Maybe someday!

    • I was walking on Santa Fe Trail in Lakewood this afternoon about 2:00pm and I saw a black big cat that appeared to be about 3-4 inches at the shoulder. It was sitting on the bank of a revene and once I saw the long sweeping tail, I could not believe what I was seeing. 1000% sure!

  4. Hey Chris. That’s so crazy. I know how awesome it would be to see a mountain lion. They are beautiful animals. My husband and I actually went hunting in Bellevue, around that same area I believe, one day last week and the guy told us that there was a mountain lion killing their cows and that if either one of us saw it to shoot it. I bet that is him

  5. Great writeup Chris and some great maps.

  6. Chris,

    Back at your fantastic site after recording our (unphotographed, sadly) close encounter with a large bobcat in our small backyard this morning. This mountain lion post is extremely interesting, and your insight into how eager we (many?) are to see such a fantastic animal is spot on, as always. Your comments about “black” panthers and misidentification challenges generally reminded me of my recent birding experience (I’m not a birder, and my eyesight is none too keen to begin with): I spotted several birds that appeared to me to be little more than black silhouettes, even through modest binoculars, but through the high power scopes of the experienced birders, were revealed to be beautifully marked and colored (e.g., indigo buntings). Sure helps to have that kind of magnification handy, with good lighting!

  7. good morning,
    I have not seen any mountain loins, however I do believe that I have seen bobcats or something of the sort. It is larger than a house cat and have spots. I saw one again just this morning, of course to poor cat had been hit. This is the second time that I have seen one on the side of the rode. I live in the Mansfield area and if you are familiar with the area it is surrounded by miles of grassy areas. I do believe the rode is the 360. I keep telling my boyfriend what I am seeing, but he thinks I’m nuts.Can you tell me if it is possible? I should have stopped to get a better look, but I was going slow enough to see what I saw. I know it was not a coyote, lol, I have seen those as well. The spots and the small size really makes me think of the bobcat.

  8. I just read your excellent article on the bald eagles at White Rock Lake and I noticed this article. About ten years ago, I saw two mountain lions together (later, I thought maybe a mother and an adolescent cub) near Mountain Creek Parkway close to Mountain Creek Lake. I was on my bicycle and I was terrifyingly close to them–they crossed the road directly in front of me. I think they were completely focused on stalking a large dog I had seen running loose and they didn’t notice me coming. I saw them for several seconds before I turned my bike around and fled.

    At the time, I thought they might have been escaped exotic pets. But I think there is enough open space for them to live in that area.

  9. Well, I am mo stranger to cougars and panthers. Having grown up in the woods of southern Arkansas I saw them quite frequently and heard them even more often. They have a very unique screech that sounds like a really big cat hollering and then it turns into the sound of a woman screaming. Its very unsettling to say the least. That said, I wasnt at all expecting to wander upon one of these creatures outside my workplace in Allen, TX a few weeks ago but thats exactly what happened. I came out the door and it ran to my right, in full view, brightly lit area. He slumped off behind the big concrete wall and vanished. It was an adolescent, not full size, but very recognizable. Gogantic paws and that cream color face. I about died trying to get in my car. Tonight at my home in north Dallas, I heard one of these cats scream in the wooded area beyond the metal wall followed by branches cracking. >_< Too close for comfort. But I fear as we continue to encroach upon their territory, sightings like these will increase exponentially. We will see.

    • I live in Fairview and I’ve seen them a few times over the last 15 years. This would be a great place to look for evidence. Last place I saw one was at Ridgeview and Fairview parkway about 3 years ago.

  10. I am writing to corroborate Mark’s story that there have been cougars in the Mountain Creek area in the past. In the early 1990s, upon completion of Cedar Hill State Park off FM 1382, volunteers from Dallas County Audubon (now Audubon Dallas) helped with setting up bluebird trails and birding the trail areas to establish a bird checklist for the park. A fellow birder and I were birding the north end of Duck Pond Trail off the South Spine Road, where it crosses the road near an overlook that is labeled N1 on the park map. We left the trail to walk along the park road following the movement of a bird and looked back in time to spot a full-grown cougar using the trail. It was coming from the trail on the opposite side of the road and crossed the road less than 30 feet from where we were standing. It stopped briefly on the road to look at us while we looked at it, and then continued walking slowly along the trail we had just left. This was close range in the open, by two people with binoculars who had seen cougars in Big Bend SP. There was no doubt what we saw and we reported it to the ranger, along with our bird sightings for that day.
    Since this was a new park in an undeveloped area, we did not know if the cougar sighting was rare at that time. Our primary interest was in documenting suitable habitat for black-capped vireos and nesting sites, and adding bird species to the checklist.
    Development in that area has been so expansive over the past couple of decades, I doubt there is sufficient habitat remaining for them now, but I’ve always hoped that cougars still exist there!

  11. I was visiting my daughter in frisco today and am sure I saw a cougar in a green belt area south of hedgecox.

  12. Keep, the reports coming in everyone. We will get one of these guys tracked down sooner or later. Pictures would be great. If you have the opportunity to look for tracks afterwards, that would be very helpful. Physical evidence is very important when it comes to a mystery animal like the North Texas Mountain Lion!

    -Chris

  13. Chris,

    Our neighbor mentioned on nextdoor.com that her husband has seen a mountain lion near our homes (Campbell and Shiloh).

    Coincidently my daughter and I had placed an infrared hunter camera in the area about 10 days earlier. I immediately retrieved it and found what looks to me to be a mountain lion.

    Here is the picture: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8zz09vh7sftnlcn/HUNT1975.JPG?dl=0

    I will leave access to this link up for a few days. I am thinking of going out and doing a daylight picture with some size references so that the size can be properly estimated. Shoot me an email and I will send them to you directly.

    I think we may have a definitive sighting for you. 🙂

    David

    • David and I checked this one out together, and it turns out the picture was of a Bobcat. Motion blur and cropping made the id uncertain from the picture alone, but once on site the trees and vegetation allowed for a judgement to be made about scale. Small Bobcat.

      -Chris

      • I saw a mountain lion leap across the road at Campbell and brand rd in Garland/richardson by the traffic circle next to firewheel golf course and breckinridge park/ spring creek nature preserve , it had a very long tail, I have seen bobcats before and this one was to muscular and large to be a bobcat

  14. Last Saturday, April 1st, about 11:35-11:40 a.m. a friend and I were walking in the park across from Highland Parl Highschool and a cougar, tawny color with long tail and the end of the tail had a few dark rings at the end, come out of one area of the brush in the middle of the walking trail and go into another brusy area. Not spotted like a bob cat that has a shorter tail. I know someone who has an 85 pound pit bull and this was bigger and more heavy boned in the legs. It frightened me and I walked away from the concrete walk onto grass further away until it was out of site – a couple of minutes perhaps.
    There is heavy brush and mature trees as well as a small babbling brook or creek. I have domestic cat pet and am familar with cat bone structure.

    • I don’t see a park directly across from Highland Park High School. Are you talking about Williams Park closer to Golf Dr?

      -Chris

      • I was walking on Santa Fe Trail in Lakewood area of east Dallas this afternoon about 2:00pm and I saw a black big cat that appeared to be about 3-4 inches at the shoulder. It was sitting on the bank of a revene and once I saw the long sweeping tail, I could not believe what I was seeing. it was actually facing toward me so i got a really good look. 1000% sure!

  15. My apologies, I meant LAKE Highlands high school. I walked there again last Saturday with two other people and we saw him again. My friend wonders if someone is feeding him.

    • Hi Coleene. Can I ask you to email me at contact at dfwurbanwildlife dot com? If I could get a few more details from you, I will make a trip out there to check it out.

      Thanks,
      Chris

  16. Chris,
    I am 100% sure I saw a mountain lion about 3 years ago in Twin Creeks in Allen. It was about 10:30 at night and when I came around a corner in my car I saw one crossing the road and heading into the woods. When I went back the next day to revisit the area I saw that right where it went was leading into the creekbed that goes through the subdivision. I have spent a lot of time in the outdoors and have a knack for spotting wildlife. I have also seen plenty of coyotes and a bobcat in Allen and know the difference. I have no doubt on what I saw. Great info on the site! Keep up the good work.

    Joel
    Allen, TX

  17. My wife and I (and some people in another vehicle) spotted what we believe to be a mountain lion sitting along the DART tracks in Hickory Creek at the entrance to Royal Oaks subdivision yesterday (May 24th). Picture is not very good. It was tawny, not spotted, with rounded ears and when it walked off we could see a long, bushy tail. It looked to be about 80-100 lbs. I worked at LAERF for over 20 years and saw plenty of bobcats at LLELA and this was different. With all the rain, there may be tracks if you are interested in taking a look.

  18. The hysteria associated with the sightings irritates me. Even if we did see one rare mtn lion in our are they don’t hunt people. No reason to kill them or bother them.

  19. Hi, Chris. Just as you mentioned, I have seen a mountain lion in North Texas with no photo evidence. It was in 2008 in Las Colinas. The cell I had at the time didn’t have a decent camera or I certainly would have been able to document it. I was returning home from grocery shopping just before dusk. The cat was moving through my apartment’s parking lot. I sat in my car until it left and got a great look at it. He was incredibly emaciated though, horribly so. The tell-tale give away was the long, swooping, black-tipped tail.

  20. I thought I saw a mountain lion in Waxahachie along the bike trail. It freaked me out. After I calmed down a bit I looked at it more closely and realized it was actually a bob cat. I can see how people could get excited and report a bobcat sighting as a mountain lion. People are so used to seeing regular house cats that when they see a cat that is a lot larger, it’s easy to jump to conclusions.

  21. We get bobcats and coyotes through out neighborhood all the time. They have become common sightings. Last night, two separate neighbors saw a very large cat. MUCH larger than a bobcat. It was very lean, and had a very long tail. It was yellow in color. The one neighbor felt like she had come across a zoo escape or a scene out of Jumanji. This sighting was on High Meadows Drive in Plano. (Between Custer and Independence. South of McDermott.) Russell Creek runs through there and brings all kinds of critters.

    For two people to separately announce the sighting .. And both have experience with bobcat sightings .. I’m a believer this time. I never thought I would believe in a cougar sighting in North Plano!

  22. I saw a mountain lion this morning in my backyard at 6:20 a.m. I was staring at a rabbit in my backyard through my back window and then it took off. At first I thought it took off because it had seen me, but then I saw a mountain lion chasing it. It stopped between my house and the neighbors (we have a wrought iron fence between us). I went to get my camera but when I returned it was gone. I had a good look at it since it was standing there looking at the rabbit. It had a long tail so I know it wasn’t a bobcat. I live in Murphy, TX. My neighbor’s house backs up to a large pond with a creek and wooded area nearby, so I imagine that’s where it went/came from.

  23. A friend of mine posted a pic that was taken within the last couple of days of a mountain lion. The pic was taken off hwy 80 and 740 and there is no question … It’s most definitely a mountain lion. Sad, bc it’s now on a ‘hit list’ …. People commenting on the post with “I’m gonna shoot it if I see it”. I understand that these large, powerful animals can be somewhat of a threat to domestic animals, however, I don’t believe that warrants killing it/them. 🙁

  24. My wife recently saw a mountain lion walking across the alley right behind our house in north Plano. I was skeptical at first, but she described a mountain lion perfectly, including an extraordinarily long tail, cat-like walk, etc. She posted on the internet and one of her friends nearby also saw it about an hour earlier.

  25. My family owns and operates a fairly big cattle operation and farms quite a bit as well. We are in Cooke, Grayson, and some of Denton county. While some family was gone on vacation couple of weeks ago I was left to check and feed all the cows while they were out of town. No big deal. I was at the last pasture of cattle and the sun was starting to set when I was done. I decide I would walk down to the other end to see how bad the hogs were taring up the milo field(300 acre place). There is a tree like I had to walk through and when I get through to the opening there is another small tree line parallel. Due to rushing around to get all the cattle fed in multiple places I didn’t grab a rifle. I saw something black on the other side. It was standing and would be about to my hip in height. My first reaction is, ‘look at that damn hog!’ But then it caught a glance of me and crouched down, being the height of my knee. Now I’m trying to figure out wath this thing is. He’s about 75 yards away and now it’s making its way straight across to the tree line that I’m currently standing in. So I kept walking down the little dirt road with my eyes fixed on this thing. I tried to think of everything it could have been. Not the build of a hog, Not the build of a dog. It had a tail the length of its body. It stayed crouched down while walking through a small patch of wheat that didn’t get combined. The sun was still up so I know it wasn’t the shadows playing tricks like they do while I deer hunt in the early morning or after the sun sets. It was huge and it was black. Many people in town say they see big cats tan and black in color. But since I’ve never seen one I just brush them off like they were talking about Bigfoot or something. I can’t put my hand on a bible and say it was for certain a black big cat, but I honestly can’t think of anything else it could have been. There is an elderly man that lives on the property that says he has seen them but yet again he is one for a good story. Kind of need some help on what it might of been. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen in the deer stand.

    • There are no large black cats native to Texas or the United States. While there are scenarios that might allow for a released exotic in North Texas, the chances that explains what you saw are extremely remote. Scientifically, you would have to begin by first considering all likely native and domestic candidates. Physical evidence is critical. Tracks would help substaintiate your sighting. A picture would be even better. Without good solid physical evidence, there is unfortunately no real point to speculating about what you might have seen. Keep a camera handy in case you see him again!

  26. I saw a mountain lion today while driving on hwy75 access road. It was a couple miles down from Stacy Rd. There is an old building going northbound on the right hand side of the road and right down from it is a heavily wooded area with a creek. It was walking down towards the water. I turned around hoping it was still there so I could show my little boy, but we couldn’t find it. I even got out and walked along the bridge to see if we could catch a picture of it. I hated that he didn’t get to see it, but was in awe of being able to see such a beautiful animal.

  27. My daughter and I went down to the creek today to go frog catching. We decided to walk down the creek a little bit farther to look. I started to hear leaves and twigs snap and the sound was getting faster and louder, I looked up to see if I can see anything and there was a large tan animal coming down a tree. Unfortunately I didn’t see the face of whatever we saw cause we ran like hell, jump on the four wheeler and went home with no looking back. All I know is that we didn’t scare it cause it kept coming towards us. Maybe it would be fun to come take a look at sometime.

  28. On our local/neighborhood social media site, Nextdoor, someone posted prints that they claim to have compared to online sources and still believe to be mountain lion prints. This is in west Frisco. If you want to connect with the finder of the print please contact me.

  29. Chris,
    We just saw a possible Mountain Lion by our apartment complex backyard in Centreport. My wife was able to take a picture with her cell phone. The picture came out a little bit blurry. Where can I send you this picture.

    SG

  30. I live in NE Collin County and we have been having cougar attacks of our sheep on County Road 470. I have lost twenty sheep with large bilateral claw marks in their flanks. My working dogs chase whatever “it” is. Our neighbor’s new born baby calf’s dead carcus up in a tree. That ain’t no bobcat!!!

    We have contacted the USDA/APHIS folks Wildlife Damages Service, but their services are not covered in Collin County, too urban. Only other counties like Hunt. Go figure.

    He finally believed me when my dog got clocked chasing whatever “cat” it was. She had a claw laceration in her jaw over an inch and a half deep.

    So I don’t care what anyone says…..what is attacking the four farms on our road is either a massive bobcat…..or a cougar.

    • Jeanette was kind enough to have us out to her ranch to look for evidence of a Mountain Lion. We scoured her property on foot, and ran a 6 week trail camera survey. We found no evidence of a big cat. We did discover a pack of free roaming feral dogs frequenting her property with regularity. We suspect these dogs are what have been attacking and killing her sheep.

  31. Hello DFW Urban Wildlife

    We live in Denton County near Copper Canyon . On Sunday Sept. 21, 2015 my wife and I both saw a cougar crossing Hickory Hill Road by its intersection with 1830 about 8:05 AM .

    The creature had a shortened muzzle ala cat ( as opposed to a coyote, wolf, or dog ) , had a long slim tail (contrary to short like a bobcat or bushy like a fox, coyote, wolf or dog ) was about the size of a Labrador retriever ( 75 – 100 lbs. ) , was a silvery grey color and had long legs relative to its body size (higher off the ground than a fox ) .

    While there are some large developments in the area, there are also is a significant amount of farm, pasture, stream land and broken ground . White tail deer inhabit this area ( I have seen them myself numerous times ) as well as other mammalian fauna including beaver, skunk, raccoon, rabbit, coyote, squirrel.

    We were not looking to see a cougar . We never considered the possibility that there were cougar in the area . However, to my mind, after viewing the animal, it had the characteristics of a cougar but not those of a different animal . I am convinced that this creature was indeed a mountain lion .

    Your mountain sighting map shows several reported sightings proximate to where we saw this animal . I know the plural of anecdote is not data and where there is smoke does not necessarily mean there is fire but I believe that greater confidence should be placed on the possibility of the existence of these animals in Denton County .

    Thank you for your attention to my note .

    Best regards ,

    K D Kearney

  32. It was about10:45; i was coming from winco, i then turned on crowley-cleborne rd , as i was about to turn right on Cleborne rd a cougar came out of a field on the right side of road and went across the road into the other field. by then i thought i was crazy. i went home and ask my husband did we have bobcats over here, cause thats what i thought it was, until i pulled it on line. it was a cougar in CROWLEY, TX

  33. Two days ago, about mid-morning, my husband and I were walking on the paved trail at Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Preserve , located between Holford Road and North Garland Road in Garland. A large
    animal, about as tall as my upper thigh, crossed in front of us about three car lengths away. It was taking long fast strides, had long legs, a very long tail, was a tannish color, and appeared to be some type of wild cat. It definitely was not a bobcat. After looking online, I’m convinced it was a mountain lion (cougar). Since the trail follows the creek and this is a thickly wooded area, it would be a logical location for wild animals. I did notify the Garland Animal Control of this sighting.

  34. I spotted a very large mountain lion standing on the side of the road staring right at me as I was driving by. I was on Parker RD near Indian Creek on the border of Collin county and Denton county. At first I thought it was a very large dog but as I got closer and closer I slowed to a crawl and it was a very large mountain lion I was expecting it to run off but it didn’t. I didn’t get a look at it’s tail but it’s head was very large and his body was very long and sleek he was standing up wright so I got a good look at him. I was coming home from work. I work the night shift so it was about 2:30 in the morning. It was about a year ago when I saw it.

  35. Just saw one on the side of hwy82 east of Sherman, standing by the Choktaw Relief. Wow.

  36. I saw a large, tan cat last night (1/13/16) about 10:30 p.m. on the side of 380 near the West Fork Trinity River as I headed to Runaway Bay. It looked directly at our car as we went by. I know for a fact it wasn’t a coyote or dog because of the structure. The bobcats I have seen around here were small, dark, and spotted. Neighbors have told me cougars have been seen in the area, but I was shocked to see such a big feline myself. I tried to see its tail, but the cat angled itself to look at us as we drove by at 65 mph. I don’t know how many varieties of bobcat are around here, but even the biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen wasn’t that big. There is also some sort of big cat refuge less than 10 miles from us, according to a neighbor. Whatever it was, we didn’t waste time getting in the house!

  37. We live in sunset point addition in little elm. Our home backs up to the greenbelt. Twice in the 8 yrs we have lived here, we have seen a mountain lion. We see coyotes, bobcat, deer, raccoons, opossums, all the time.I grew up in west Texas, I KNOW a mountain lion when I see one, and I’ve seen a mt.lion twice.we walk our dogs down to the lake occasionally, and that is where we have spotted them.the 1st sighting was about 6 or 7 yrs ago, and after we saw it sitting near the water, near dusk, we noticed the tracks. It was really large, but looked a bit thin.the second one was smaller, spotted last year , close to our home, and by the tree line, was healthy looking, but smaller.they are beautiful animals!

  38. Back in September my son and I saw two mountain lions cross Corinth Parkway ( Corinth) along the jogging trail. This was between City Hall and the train tracks. It was about 9 at night. Beautiful animal.

  39. I saw a mountain lion leap across the road at Campbell and brand rd in Garland/richardson by the traffic circle next to firewheel golf course and breckinridge park/ spring creek nature preserve , it had a very long tail, I have seen bobcats before and this one was to muscular and large to be a bobcat

  40. We saw a mountain lion yesterday near Davy Crockett national forest Hwy 287

  41. Best thing to ever happen on a golf course (even better than a hole in one). Played Cowboys Golf Course in the summer around 7 years ago with three other guys. On the back nine (hole 16 I believe) I picked up my ball since I was out of the hole and began walking off the green towards the cart. The other guys were still putting when I noticed what I thought was a dog (it was rather tall and tan colored) waking towards me from the bushes just off the cart path. I just saw it’s head sort of bobbing through the tall grass and making its way towards the path. I froze when it finally made it to the path…could not register what I was seeing in fact. There it was…a mountain lion. It stood about 20 yards from me…on the path in clear view. I started to call out my bud’s name to alert him. He and the others guys were walking back and then froze when they saw it too. I remember my friend at first thought it was a bobcat, but then I told him it was no bobcat (which he soon realized as it stood there). I was so close to it I could see the white fur around its mouth, its smallish head and it’s long body and tipped tail. It did not look like a full grown cat since it was rather skinny…possibly 80 lbs or so. It just stood there calmiy staring at us for around a minute (seemingly docile). It then yawned (showing teeth) and turned towards this little cart path bridge, slowly walked over it and then turned back into the bushes. Totally amazing experience. Never in a million years ever thought I would see something like that while playing golf here in the DFW area. Never even thought they were in North Texas for that matter. I will never forget it.

  42. A black bear was seen about 10 years ago in Stonebridge Ranch, the location now known as Serenity Park. My daughter was walking to school late and saw a small black bear cross the road in front of her and then watched it eat a horse apple. I dismissed her story at the time. She is now 16 and will still talk about the black bear.

  43. I saw a mountain lion in my backyard two mornings ago. I was brushing my teeth inside a dark bathroom when it emerged up a hill from the creek behind my house. I was shocked because I never believed a mountain lion could be in an urban area like this (I live in the Tanglewood neighborhood in Fort Worth near Colonial golf course). The mountain lion was 30 feet or less from me inside my fence line (fence was removed the day before while being replaced). The backyard is very well lit with continuous flood lights and the cat was unmistakable: round ears, long powerful neck, tan flesh, muscular shoulders and a long swooping tail. It walked within two feet of a bench in my yard which gave me a perfect reference for its size. It was either a female or a juvenile. I know there are plenty of pro-mountain lion peopleon here, but I am really unnerved knowing this was literally in my yard. My small children play in my yard and are now “protected” by a mere 5 foot wrought iron fence. I would love to see this thing removed by any means necessary. I purchased a game camera to place out back in the event it returns. I will share any photos/video I get. I am hoping to produce some evidence to get local game authorities to help. People jog less than .25 miles from my house along that creek. It’s no place for a large wild cat to be stalking.

    • Sorry, guys, this video very clearly shows a Bobcat. Cheek ruffs are evident. Size is right for Bobcat. Posture is right for Bobcat. No long tail visible.

  44. I live in rural Ellis County and a nearby neighbor posted yesterday they have spotted a female mountain lion with a cub twice recently outside of the town of Ovilla, near the intersect of FM 1387 and FM 664. I was extremely skeptical, but this is not the first time that someone in this area has made a recent post about a sighting so there may be some merit. However I’m betting it is bobcats they are seeing.

  45. I saw a mountain lion on 5/20/16, there was no mistaking it. It was near the intersection of Razor and McDermott, it crossed the road and when I stopped my car it just stood on the side of the road looking at me for a minute and then continued into the wooded area. We do have a bobcat that we’ve spotted in our neighborhood several times and this was not a bobcat. I lived in the very rural part of Montague County and have seen lots of wildlife, this was not like anything I’ve ever witnessed before. What a beautiful animal!!

  46. I live between Ferris and Bristol south of dallas. Ask anyone in Bristol and they have seen these big cats, there is a huge wild hog population there also.

  47. My friend just saw one and a whole bunch of lepoards in ft worth

  48. I was jogging with my mini Schnauzer this morning at about 6:30 around the Convergence business park in Lewisville, when my dog started lunging on her leash. I looked over toward the wooded area behind the old township city hall and saw a large animal with legs too thick to be a dog and a tail unlike a dog. It was standing alone and I just kept my dog close and walked towards Edmunds street. Could a cougar live in the vicinity of Convergence business park?

  49. Have you heard there’s been two sighted in Richardson this week?

  50. I’ve no idea if this would interest you, but I saw one in the woods around Mother Neff State Park when I was young. I think I was probably around 12 at the time (guessing) which would have made it about 1973. Me and two friends were walking out in the woods near the park. (Fairly near the water tower.)

    It was right about dusk, and we were lost, trying to find our way back to a trail or road. The mountain lion crossed our path at a 90 degree angle, looking straight at us, but he never slowed down. I’m sure he’d heard us and came to check us out. He was pretty close when he passed by, but he just kept going and we didn’t see him again. I’m 100% sure that’s what we saw. He was close, there wasn’t any doubt.

  51. my hubby saw a black panther slink across the road right on front of him. It was as tall as the hood of his Honda Civic. It was in 2004 and on the road that the house development Lake Ridge is on he was heading towards highway 67. He said it was an awesome sight and he could clearly see its muscles as it just casually strolled across the road not paying any attention to him. It was black as night ! He was startled by the sighting. I wonder if it was somebody’s pet they either let loose or it escaped?. We have seen an abundance of wild rabbit at dawn and dusk and the lake is very close by.

    Thank you

  52. I was hiking in Arbor Hills Nature Preserve (Plano, Texas/Collin County) on Sunday September 11, 2016 on the outer loop at about 7:30pm and saw a mountain lion traveling on the hiking trail heading in the same direction as me about 70 feet away in front of me. I have spent plenty of time outdoors and familiar with wildlife, this was not a coyote, bobcat, or domestic animal. Since I happened to be coming around a corner and it was facing away from me I observed it for a good 15 seconds utterly stunned. In hindsight I wish I had taken a picture, but even though I had my phone in my hand I was so shocked my mind was not on national geographic pic. I know there are skeptics, but I know what I saw and it was a mountain lion, it was adult sized. I am not typically in the preserve this late and even though the sun was going down it in no way obscured my view. Needless to say I backed up on the trail and thankful I made it back up the hill out of the preserve.

  53. September 24, 2016

    As I was letting my two dogs out around 7:30 am, something at the back of our lot caught my eye. We have lived along the creek in Oakwood Glen for 22 years. Our lot is not fenced and
    is open to the creek. We have seen all sorts of wildlife passing through following the curves of the creek.
    This morning, upon stepping onto the patio, I was struck by the silence outside. Normally, birds and
    squirrels are carrying on. My eyes locked onto a very large, dark animal moving along the back of the
    lot. It was totally light out so my vision was good. I was struck by the size and the beauty of it’s movement. It was NOT a coyote or bobcat. I know them all too well. This was a solid, muscular, dark
    golden in color 80 pound animal with a long tail that moved like a cat. I watched it for a good 20 seconds, it was a mountain lion. I am as sure of that as I have been of seeing bobcats and coyotes long before
    Plano realized they were here.
    I also checked our neighborhood website as I remembered a neighbor had seen a very large animal, thought also to be a mountain lion in Hoblitzelle Park, just a few days prior. There are paths, ponds, woods and of course, the creek for them to find seclusion. I will be on the lookout and will hopefully be able to capture a picture of this magnificent animal. Until then, I stand firm on what I saw, not a doubt in
    my mind.

  54. I am a military vet who is up most nights and also a tobacco user who does not use inside my parents home. Two nights ago, 2OCT16, here in a Richardson neiborhood adjacent to Plano and spring valley I was in front of their home satisfying my middle of the night nicotine habit. I have seen over a decade ago a set of wolves in a neiborhood in lake highlands which was more surprising than some of the other outter lying suburbs I have seen them in. In front of my parents home I have only ever seen constant possums and the occasional pack of raccoons. I was startled by a long out reaching branch of our acorn tree pushing down more than a foot and continuing and faster than I can move lung from branch to branch across the tree and across the neibors touching red oak tree. It moved about 50 ft in under 2-3 seconds shaking massive amounts of leaves off the trees as it went on trees where the leaves are still green. I emidiently realized the only thing that would move like that would be a very large cat. I emidiently went inside to check out our many surveillance cameras for confirmation with no success. Still I have no doubt or equivocation that the culprit of the movement was indeed a very large cat.

    • Where in Richardson?

    • In 2015 I was walking on the paved trail in the Spring Creek Nature Preserve in Richardson (Plano Rd / Lookout). I’m about 70% sure what I saw was a mountain lion. As it came around the curved path about 20 yards away, it startled me and I slowly backed around the curve. By the time I took out my phone and creeped around the bend again, it was gone. My first thought was “how could a bobcat possibly be that big??” Now that I see bobcats in my Plano neighborhood all the time, I’m sure the cat I saw in Richardson was simply too big to be a bobcat.

  55. I was on a walk with my boys at valley view park on the white rock trail and we saw a mountain lion on the banks of the water under the bridge as we were crossing it. The lion crossed the water and then went into the bushes on the other side. This prompted me to do a Google search on whether there are mountain lions in Dallas because I’m originally from Boston and wasn’t sure. That’s how I got to your page. On Google, I also saw an article from August stating that Brookhaven college, which is not that far from the park, had warned it’s students of a mountain lion sighting on a trail close to campus.

    • My kids and I were walking today by White Rock Lake and we think we saw a mountain lion. It was in an empty lot near some woodsy homes. It seems implausible and perhaps it was a mastiff, but the tail and carriage was not like a dog. The tail was too thick and long. I say mastiff b/c when it turned to look back for a few seconds, the face didn’t have a doggish muzzle, but seemed more cat like. I’ve looked at various giant breed dogs just to be sure there isn’t one I’m missing, but it really was crazy. I had left my phone in the car, so I don’t have a picture. It was not very close, but we studied if for a few minutes just watching – perhaps not the smartest thing to do, but we didn’t really think it likely it was a mountain lion and we were waiting to see proof it was just a dog. But it walked like a cat. I notified the police when he drove by just in case. I hope I’m wrong, but both my daughter and I stopped in our tracks when we saw it and she’s always been obsessed with big cats and we’ve read a number of books, so we have a little knowlege in such things (emphasis on little).

  56. I saw a mountain lion in Ardmore, Oklahoma, about five years ago. That’s north of Dallas, true, but thought I’d mention it. I was at the Super 8 Motel in North Ardmore. It was about 7:00 a.m. The cat was walking by a line of trees about 40 feet from the window of my ground-floor hotel room. I saw it for a full 30 seconds. It wasn’t a bobcat. I had walked through the field just south of that tree line on several occasions prior to the sighting. I didn’t walk through that field again, after I saw the mountain lion. I checked online immediately, and discovered many other people had witnessed mountain lions in the Ardmore area…

    Of course, local officials at the time, denied that these cats existed. I’d like to tie them to a tree in the area where I spotted this mountain lion. Let them spend the night, as it were…

    There have been numerous mountain lion sightings in every U.S. state except Hawaii. And they are becoming more and more frequent. These animals are proliferating. And officials offer the same lame explanations, “They’re bobcats” or “It was a cat that wandered 1000 miles out of its territory” or “A drug dealer held one captive and released it.”

    Mountain lions kill by stealth. They typically attack their prey from behind and leap onto their backs, wrapping their forelegs around the victim and biting through the spinal cord at the base of the neck. They are attacking humans more and more often. “We are encroaching on their territory,” say the social justice warriors. Sorry, but they are encroaching on our territory, due to their unbridled proliferation and protection, to the point where our officials are covering the whole thing up.

    If you research mountain lion sightings in every state (like I have), you’ll discover the same, textbook, lame explanations that officials always give, as outlined above. They claim they don’t exist in many states, even when one is hit by a car. Put all of this together, and it means they are lying, and they have been instructed by somebody high up in the chain of command, regarding exactly what they should say when addressing the public about the matter – and this can be inferred, logically, because they offer identical explanations in every single case. Fortunately for them, most people don’t employ logic, they just watch the TV news and take what they see and hear for granted.

    My point here is – wise up. If there are numerous sightings in the Dallas area, the cats are proliferating there, too. Don’t let your kids play outside alone, especially in wooded or grassy areas, and especially at night…and most especially, if they are very young. Mountain lions prefer smaller prey.

  57. There may still be one living in the Brazos River bottoms outside of College Station. We owned a home there back in 2010 and my kids kept saying they saw a cougar. I didn’t believe it even when I ended up walking right beside it. I humanize feral cats and we had a food bin outside and it was a young one. Still not believing that there was a mountain lion in my back yard, I walked with it side by side till it hit the woods. With the available prey, no predators, it might still be there.

  58. Hi All,

    I have been a professor at NU in Cedar Hill, TX for a couple of decades. I also spend a ton of time fishing Joe Pool lake, not to mention walking/running/biking trails behind the university, around the the lake, and the surrounding area. I have seen all sorts of animals including bobcats, foxes, and on a couple of occasions (over the past couple of decades), mountain lions. I have also seen them in the Hill Country where I grew up… My first sighting was in b/w the entrance to Joe Pool and Northwood University…it was crossing the road. I also saw one while running the trails behind the university. Having said that, it’s been years since I’ve seen one.

    Adam

  59. Hello, nice article! My home security camera caught some animal that seems to be a cougar, but I am not sure. I could send you the video if you want. I live in Frisco by the way…
    Regards, Natalia.

  60. Hello,

    On 1/23/2017 I observed, what I believe, is a mountain lion just north of Spring Creek and west of Preston Meadow (south of Archgate Park) in the Windsor Park subdivision. It was about 30-32″ tall at the back, solid color (gray or tan – unable to tell due to the amount of daylight), long tail, slender build, and it trotted like a cat. It was too big for a bobcat and didn’t move like a dog. First time I have seen such a thing in Plano.

  61. About 15 or so years ago I saw a mountain lion dead on the side of the road around Mountain Creek Parkway

  62. I have game cameras in my backyard in Frisco Texas. We backup to an office park close the the tollway and SRT. I have a picture of what I’m pretty sure is a mountain lion or cougar. It was taken on 1/24/2017. I can email the picture if you send me an email address. The cameras have caught pics of a lot of bobcats, but this is something much bigger.

  63. Around 10 or more years ago or so before Firewheel mall was starting to be built, me and my family saw a dead mountain lion carcass along highway 78 and the bridge.

  64. The wife and I just saw a large mountain lion right by Hoblitzelle park here in Plano

  65. Me and my daughter saw a decently big cougar off of 121 by Arbor hills , coming home from Nebraska Furniture Mart

  66. One of my girlfriends lives in Stonebriar Park. It’s a large neighborhood in Frisco that has 2 acre lots with small horse stalls or tennis courts. It’s at Hwy 121 and the Dallas North Tollroad. Their surveillance camera caught what appears to be a Mountain Lion a couple weeks ago. The picture was taken at night, so it is hard to tell the exact color. I live in Plano on a creek in our front yard with the golf course at the back. We have bobcats year around but have a mom that has babies every spring, so we are used to Bobcats and Coyotes. This picture is definitely bigger. Especially in the shoulders. Hopefully I can send you the picture and you can post us a response. Thank you for all the great information. This was about the end of February or the beginning of March.

  67. Marine creek. Spillway side of lake southside of 820 between azile ave and marine creek rd small mountain lion . Probably female 50 60 pounds considerably smaller than my one yr old great dane. But positively lightvbrown long tail blk ringtip she was shocked to see me and as quickly as she came into view was gone . My dane never saw her. Very small I thought for mointan lion probably 50 pound er . Ive hunted all my life prety fair at size en criters . And as far as black Panthers go there plenty in tx. Navasota river bottoms.between Bryan tx and iola tx if you want to see one tgere plenty there and they dont keep to your larg territory they share territory down there they getting thick down ther. That is a fact

  68. I just had a conversation on my neighborhood Next Door site. I’ve cut and pasted what the guy said about two sightings he had in our area (Aubrey/Crossroads/Little Elm/Providence Village).

    “I’ve seen one twice, or two different ones. Once one was trotting down Fish Trap Road like he owned the road and the second time I saw one, just a few weeks ago, inside the fence of the Village at Cross Roads. He was up by the town park and when I approached he or she jumped, from a flat footed position, clear over the 6′ fence. It was actually pretty awesome to watch.”

    Just thought you might be interested.

  69. Oh, sorry, this is from the east side of Prosper so within 20 miles of the May 8 sighting above.

    • Mountain Lions typically hunt animals that max out somewhere between 150-200 pounds. Deer and Feral hogs. It would require quite an unusual set of circumstance for a Mountain Lion to go for an animal the size of a horse… 800 to 1500 pounds. Often in case of reported Mountain Lion attacks on horses in North Texas, it is actually an enclosure mishap that is responsible for the injury. That was the case with the Cleburne Times article you cited. The horse had become entangled in barbed wire. http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article151156957.html

  70. There was a horse attacked and almost killed last fall south of Mt. Springs near Ray Roberts Corp. I was a skeptic but once I saw injuries to horse and several pics of Mt. Lion on neighbors game camera just a few hundred feet from the horse attack I’m a believer. Unfortunately a rancher south of 922 and east of 372 shot it.

  71. June 30, 2017 @ 2:56 am
    Who do I contact about a mountain lion in my pasture. I live in Canton Tx and I have seen it several times. I have had to pick up its poop from the driveway. I don’t know who to contact.

  72. We have a video of a wild cat walking the retaining wall of our back fence yesterday morning. We are new to the area and not sure who we can send it to for identification purposes. If it is a bobcat, it is a very large one, but possibly a smaller mountain lion. We are in The Tribute in The Colony and we back up to the Corps of Engineers.

  73. I have worked with Ranchers and Hunters for nearly 20 years showing hunting properties primarily in a Triangle from Jayton to Aspermont to Abilene. During that time I have seen 4 mountain lions. The first three were very much like many of those documented here. Two were crossing the road, one was at a feeder, but the fourth is the one I wanted to share with you. i was showing a tract that was about 3000 acres between Aspermont and Jayton. I had 3 hunters in the truck with me and everyone was talking and asking questions. We came around a corner where there was a corn feeder just outside a cedar thicket with a few scattered mesquites. About 50 yards past the feeder was a rise and there were white shale/ limestone outcroppings up the rise. As we came around the corner to take a look at the feeder, you could have heard a pin drop as all four of us saw the cat at the same time. Granted, it was probably 5:30 in the evening in September, But the cat was black and it sat there on a white rock for about 7 seconds before it bolted off. We all looked at each other and asked each other did you see that and to a man we all saw the same, a black cat that was roughly 7-8 feet long from head to tail. Having seen 3 other mountain lions previously, I am absolutely positive that this cat was not anywhere close to the same coloring as the other three. I know this has little to do with Mountain Lions in DFW, but some of the encounters that were shared made me feel inclined to share ours. That said, while I am no expert on mountain lions, I have not been diagnosed with colored blindness and the odds of finding three others that developed situational colored blindness at the same time seems highly unlikely to me.
    Mike

  74. I am confused after reading article and comments about “nature preserve”. I always believed “Nature Preserve areas” were for wildlife and preserving their existence due to city expansion and commercialization. Threw me for a loop seeing that within “Nature Preserve”, is quit a bit of human activity and seemingly scaled more towards recreation?. Which then makes it reasonable to understand why these animals are not afraid of humans. Where there is recreation and entertainment, there will be food left behind and a few who feed them. The more humans that attend the nature preseve, the less likely wild life will remain and obviously why they have roamed unto neighborhoods and roads. Not sure which is worst but either way it is unfortunate for the wild life. Interesting about Nebraska Mart, would have thought the city would have been aware of the animals who’s home they took away. It should be required to relocate these bigger wild animals before major construction instead of forcing them out into residential neighborhoods and roads only to end up being killed.

  75. I live out here in the Savannah subdivision and roughly 6 people spotted a mountain lion they posted a picture and everything…maybe you could Come and see for yourself…I’m coming from colorado and have come face to face with one of those big things and I did see a very large cat jump into the field from the street the same day everyone says they saw it and right up the road from where they saw it… I would be very interested to know because I would’ve never thought there could be mountain lions in Texas!!

    • EDITOR’S NOTE: Michelle share this picture with me. The picture quality is not good. Because of this the exact species of animal in the photography is indeterminate, but it is not a Mountain Lion. Various items in the setting show the animal to be roughly the size of a house cat.

  76. At the conclusion of your article, you suggested for us to drop you a line if we happen to see a mountain lion. My wife and I used to rent a house on an 85-acre plot of land here in Southlake, Texas. We lived there for a number of years, and I came across many beautiful creatures. I remember when a raccoon lived in our barn, I saw about 3-4 bobcats through the years, and 2 deer. And one day, the most unexpected thing happened – and in daylight, mind you. A mountain lion crossed in front of our living room window (about 30 feet away), and I remember being totally mesmerized! It was HUGE, and the way it moved totally irked me… It was extremely fluid, and took about 20 seconds or so to creep past my house. Too fast for me to grab a photo, but I know what I saw. Anyway, it was about 5 years ago, but I’ll never forget it!

  77. Several mountain lions have been spotted in my neighborhood in North Dallas over the years, with the most recent sighting July 18th. Post from nextdoor.com
    “A neighbor couple on Spanky Place and 2 friends spotted a Mountain lion, not a Bobcat, in neighbors yard late night Tuesday. It crossed from the neighbors yard into their yard, then ran off between the houses. They determined that it was a Mountain lion based upon the fact that it was much bigger than a Bobcat, had a long tail, was tan colored (no spots) and probably weighed 85+ lbs.
    Yes! There are Mountain Lions in Texas.
    Watch your children and pets!”
    Another neighbor who is known for his photographs and videos of nature saw one in his yard about 6 years ago and got within 20 feet of it. Apparently there is a picture of it somewhere eating a rabbit. He frequently sees bobcats and other wildlife on his property and was absolutely certain this was a mountain lion.

  78. Does this seem to be a mountain lion? https://theranchestx.nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=59502612

    This was near Highway 170 and Old Denton Road in far north Fort Worth. A neighbor of mine, just north of 170, also thinks she saw a mountain lion/panther on the edge of our neighborhood last week.

    • PS: The bucket in the photo is >36 inches wide and 42″ tall, and the camera was about 20-25 feet away.

      • PPS: It also occurred to me that you might not be able to view that picture from NextDoor, so just in case, I’ve put it on my Google Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/VrKXuuqLXsvyyzLBA

        The people who took this photo had placed deer cams in the back yard over a period of time to look for feral cats they thought might be in their yard. Among many other critters, they saw this big cat when they reviewed their photos. All other animals they have caught with the same camera have looked appropriately sized to them, so they think this is a VERY big animal.

      • EDITOR’S NOTE: Analysis showed that the animal in this picture is an ordinary House Cat.

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