3 cougar sightings reported near Natchez

Published 1:19 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

Despite experts’ assertions that there are no cougars in southwest Mississippi, three recent sightings have been reported near Natchez.

Ricky Smith, who has a degree in wildlife biology and has hunted game around the world, says he saw a cougar in the woods Sunday evening. That was less that 24 hours after a married couple said they saw one cross the Natchez Trace Parkway. Another sighing placed a cougar near the Trace.

Smith says the cougar sat down and stared at him, then walked away.

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Cougars are reclusive and it’s rare to see one, so Smith believes this one might have escaped captivity or been released by a pet owner.