Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Mountain Lion in Baytown, Texas?

A cougar, commonly called a puma, panther, catamount, or a long-tailed cat.
Rumors of a large mountain lion-like cat in Harris or Chambers County, Texas surface every so often with many credible eyewitnesses, including my wife and one of her best friends.  Two friends of mine swear to the fact that they are here.  Some call them panthers, others know them as pumas, or long-tailed cats.
Where the big animal was spotted walking behind the houses on El Rancho in Chaparral Village, Baytown, Texas.
Behind my house are over 70 acres of woods and yesterday, my wife and her long time friend were sitting on the patio when they spied a large, tawny colored animal "walking like a cat" on the pipeline behind the house.  "It was as big as a dog and had a tail."  My wife told me and her friend concurred.

"The dogs were on the far side of the yard and didn't sense or see it and we jumped up and ran for the back fence.  It disappeared into the woods without a sound."  My wife explained. 

Another view of the pipeline lane behind Buffalo Trail in Baytown, Texas.
My longtime friend Barbara Pugh has seen them many times, as she grew up around Baytown and Beach City and swears locals there know they are here.  It was not all that long ago that reports of big cats were again sighted out by the dump.  I saw a bobcat there a few years ago and my brother saw a bobcat run across Barkuloo Road in between Chaparral Village and Crockett Elementary. 
A Bobcat like this one was spotted crossing Barkuloo Road close to Crockett Elementary and Chaparral Village by my brother.
This is the same stretch of woods where the pipeline is that may or may not harbor a "long-tailed cat."  We often hear a large pack of coyotes yipping and howling when a train blows it's horn, but they are elusive and I've never actually saw one behind the house.  It just goes to show that large animals can coexist with us and we don't know they are around.  Coyotes also can and will kill a pet, as will feral hogs.
Feral hogs and coyotes both frequent the woods behind Chaparral Village, but are rarely seen.
I know one fact that no one can dispute and is possibly connected with the big cat sighting.  Not a week goes by without someone placing signs to report a missing dog in Chaparral Village.  Occasionally one is found, but most often, the pet is never seen again.  We lost one like this here about 15 years ago.  It ran into the woods and vanished without a sign.
Signs are common in Chaparral Village of lost pets.  This one was taken the same day as this article was published.
We have seen and heard feral hogs on the pipeline and I once saw a great horned owl perched on the wire behind my house.  My dogs will stand by my back fence at night and bark and bark, facing the woods and I often take a powerful flashlight and scan about, but never see anything except rabbits.

I have not seen a rabbit in two months.  Do we have a long-tailed cat out there?  I have not seen one, but others have.  I plan to place a game camera out very soon and see if I can't get a photo or two of what our intrepid visitor looks like.  In the meantime, we watch.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big news indeed. I would hate to see what such an animal would do to some of the small pets in this area.

Danny (Preacher) Bezet
Victory Baptist Church
1800 East Archer Rd
Baytown, TX 77521
281-421-4862

Anonymous said...

You are awesome! Good writing! JHS

Anonymous said...

Uh...yeah...I won't be getting any caches behind your house! KW

Anonymous said...

Set up a critter cam! CL

Anonymous said...

I hope u get a game camera just to show them puma exist in this area and hv for the 60 yrs (almost) I hv lived here. Bert, I am going to have a filters salesman call you. He was an original Baytown rice farmer.

BP

Anonymous said...

Sightings of mountain lions have occurred in all 254 Texas counties. I've seen a big sleek black cat at two different areas up here in the last 5 years. They say, "Contrary to popular belief,there are no black panthers in Texas." However I know what I saw, once at dusk but light enough to see clearly the big black cat sorta trotting down the side of the road east of Longview on highway 80. The other time it was afternoon in full light, no mistaking the big (not bobcat) black cat walking down the FM road close to Lake of Pines. Neither seem to have any fear of the car passing them. There have been many more reports of both Mountain Lions and the big black cats up here. TDR

Anonymous said...

Nice story Bert! I enjoyed reading it. K

Baytown Bert said...

Added a game cam this evening to monitor the pipeline. Photos to follow.

Bonnie Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie Reynolds said...

Me and my mother-in-law on Mother's Day saw a large tan cat. After researching, I had several residents inform me that they saw it on Wednesday morning at the wood line of the apartments I run. This is a really scary thing! I live between John Martin and Wade Rd off the I-10 feeder rd at Baycity Village Apartments. 3 sightings in less than a week is crazy!!!

Jay Roy said...

Jay Roy, It is a Fact that Both Cats have been sighted, They both are living either on my land or next to my land on about a 35-45 acre area on Barkaloo since i see at lesat one them almost every night, The Tan Cat i am guessing weights around 100lbs.+ And with its tail is probably 5'-6' Long, And its Paw prints are as large as a 100lb. Doberman we have, But No Mistaken it has some serious claws, And it does not scare off easy, And even with gun fire will return back in no time, We have a large population of large rabbits here for some reason & that is what they are feeding on, They have left the bones of a number of the rabbits they have ate on top of some large crane items that are 4' strait up, The Bobcat actually looks like a large spotted house cat with a larger head a skinny waist & huge feet. And even it if it sees you from 75' will stop & sit down & look at you before it runs off. We had before a Serious problem with Coyotes here & i mean a lot of them until both of these Cats have remained living here since Oct. of last year. There hasn't been any Coyotes since.

What, me read? Isn't that a 4 letter word?

I had an appointment this week at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to have an echocardiogram, which by the way is an EKG ti...