Something strange is going on, and the phenomenon is not confined to the Headwaters.
In 2010 In The Hills published my article “Has the Cat Come Back?” a story about the possible return of cougars to southern Ontario. I spoke to several people when researching the story who were certain that cougars were again among us – people who spoke convincingly of seeing cougars cross roads or traverse fields in Headwaters country.
I was struck though by the very real possibility that all these “cougar” sightings were cases of mistaken identity. Consider that no irrefutable evidence of cougars exists for this part of southern Ontario – no road killed cougars, no cougar scat (droppings), no tracks and no unambiguous photos in this era of ever-present cameras.
So how to explain cougar sightings reported by rational, intelligent people? Something strange is going on, and the phenomenon is not confined to the Headwaters. One would be hard pressed to find a rural area in this province that hasn’t had its share of cougar sightings.
The phenomenon extends to other countries as well. In Great Britain, for example, there are about 2,000 big cat sightings reported every year but, as here, there is no solid evidence to substantiate those claims.
Some folks who embrace the paranormal propose that the British cats exist only fleetingly in our world and then slip back into another dimension.
George Monbiot in his book Feral offers a more plausible explanation. He suggests that we imagine big cats because we need them. In our tame, predictable world of decreasing biodiversity, big cats stir memories of an exciting, albeit at times dangerous, natural world that our subconscious minds yearn for.
Perhaps this explanation has merit, but the phenomenon of big cats roaming our hills, or perhaps only our imaginations, will surely continue to intrigue us.
You can read up on other cougar sightings and add you own comments on our cougar sightings page!