Eastern Cougar Is Extinct

Federal agency makes it official

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 2, 2011 4:55 PM CST

(Newser) – The eastern cougar is coming off the endangered species list, but for the worst possible reason: It's extinct. The big cat, also called the eastern puma, has likely been gone since the 1930s, but the official confirmation came today from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It used to roam from Maine to South Carolina, notes Our Amazing Planet.

"We recognize that many people have seen cougars in the wild within the historical range of the eastern cougar," says a USFWS official. "However, we believe those cougars are not the eastern cougar subspecies. We found no information to support the existence of the eastern cougar."

This 2006 photo provided by the State Museum of Pennsylvania shows the taxidermy of the Eastern Cougar.
This 2006 photo provided by the State Museum of Pennsylvania shows the taxidermy of the Eastern Cougar.   (AP Photo/State Museum of Pennsylvania)
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