Thursday’s headlines couldn’t be any clearer: “DEP Says Big Cat Seen In Greenwich Likely Mountain Lion” (check out Mountain Lion Roaming Greenwich on NBC Connecticut’s website). It’s nice to know that the Connecticut DEP is looking out for residents… even if they are FIVE YEARS LATE. What do we mean? Well, let’s take a look at something we’ve been reporting on for a few years now here at SGRA.
Among the many facets of our organization is the investigation into claims of unusual animal sightings. Most people think of these as creatures like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, but in actuality the study Cryptozoology is examining reports of ANY animals that are claimed be seen in which “experts” and others say do not exist. What is most interesting about the field of Cryptozoology is that many famous animals once thought to be nonexistent, but have been repeatedly reported, have later turned out to be entirely real. For example, the Panda Bear, Mountain Gorilla, or Giant Squid. But what’s this got to do with Connecticut?
Since 2005 investigators with our group, primarily our own resident Cryptozoologist Mark Mihalko, have been collecting reports from those in Connecticut who claimed to have encountered Mountain Lions. Many of these reports were simply sightings, but in a few cases photographic and even physical (in the way of prints and other evidence) were found. We made repeated attempts to forward reports and findings to the Connecticut DEP, as well as numerous nature centers around the state, but in every instance were told such an animal “simply can’t exist anymore in our state.” According to repeated statements by the DEP since 2005, these creatures may have once lived here, but there’s never been any evidence that they do anymore. And yet that never ended the flow of reports. From New London to Oxford, and many places in between, we steadily received these reports.
“In talking with the state park agency, me and my teammates were basically told that we were insane, that it was impossible for any type of Mountain Lion to be alive in this area,” says Mark Mihalko. Of interest is perhaps looking back to an article published by Mark and SGRA in 2005 aptly titled “Big Cats In Connecticut.” Here’s part of the article:
“Even though the vague descriptions provided in these reports have the characteristics of a Mountain Lion, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) remains skeptical. In fact, the DEP runs multiple programs looking for new animals in the forests. Every year they investigate possible sightings by taking photos, analyzing prints and scat, or animal feces and in each case, they have come up empty. After concluding an initial fact finding mission on the habitat and tendencies of a Mountain Lion, members of the Smoking Gun Research Agency (SGRA) hit the field for a detailed field investigation.”
So what is the current reasoning the DEP gives for this undeniable encounter with a Mountain Lion? Since recanting their 5-year-old statements would mean admitting that they might be simply be wrong, and of course bring up loads of questions as to why they have never taken any of the previous reports seriously, they have decided that this particular cat is “likely a mountain lion that has been held in captivity and either escaped or was released.” Of course, it MUST be a pet, as there’s no evidence that these animals exist.
On a final note, we’d like to say something to witnesses of these animals. First and foremost, to those who have shared your stories with us over the years. Thank you. We have, and continue, to collect them and keep them, and despite getting written off as “impossible” we have made every attempt to inform local authorities of areas that we get significant reports from. And, to everyone else, if you have had an encounter and would like to make sure it doesn’t get ignored or lost in the shuffle, please feel free to contact us. You need not give your name if you don’t wish.