The “mountain lion” track in Winchester was probably a melted coyote paw print, but the Boston Globe suggests that mountain lions, aka pumas, aka panthers, aka cougars, aka catamounts are poised to return to Massachusetts, more than 200 years after the last state specimens were killed in 2005. The 90,000 deer in the state are just too tempting for a big, hungry cat to resist.
The good news is that Massachusetts’ regrown forest cover can support creatures like wild turkeys, deer, lady’s slipper orchids, low bush blueberries… and large predators like mountain lions. The better news is that the word “catamount” might re-enter local vocabularies. Think of what a great and terrible creature this cat must be to spawn so many names.