Hunter Kills Cougar in Georgia

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hunters around Georgia's West Point Lake might be led to believe that Georgia has a new predator roaming the woods - the cougar.

A Sunday kill of a male cougar on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer land at West Point Lake, south of Hwy. 109 seemed to verify that thought. However, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, this simply is a one-time experience.

"TThough cougar and panther sightings persist in Georgia, there are no
known native populations of these animals roaming the woods," advises
Wildlife Resources Division Region Supervisor Kevin Kramer. "There is
no reason to believe there are any more cougars out there. This likely
is a unique experience and while exciting, is not something for which we should be concerned."

The cougar, taken near the Abbottsford community west of LaGrange, was a male, 88 inches in length measured from the nose to the tip of the tail and weighed approximately 140 pounds. The hunter who took the animal was legally hunting deer from his tree stand at the time the cougar approached.

Initial external examination by Wildlife Resources Division biologists
found no tattoos, tags or collars, and the cougar had not been declawed.

Further examination by The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens Monday afternoon confirmed the cougar to be healthy and well fed. Researchers determined the cougar had a very low parasite level and that the pads on all four feet were scuffed. According to SCWDS staff, these findings are consistent with a captive reared cougar, not a wild specimen.

Due to the fact that there are no known native populations of cougars
in Georgia, no permitted cougars in this area and that the closest Alabama facilities permitted to house cougars (in Elmore and Macon Counties) have accounted for all permitted cougars, the animal taken
Sunday likely escaped or was released from a non-permitted individual.

There currently are no leads as to who may have most recently held the
animal, but the Division will continue to look into all possibilities.


Gear Closet Extends Hours; Supports Clean Water Initiatives, Locally And Globally

The Gear Closet, in North Chattanooga, is extending its hours. It will be open six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday from 12-6 p.m. each day. Earth Day gear drive can encourage the public to do some spring cleaning and donate or consign your old gear and clothing. There will also be a drop off available at Recycle Signal on Signal Mountain as part of the Recycle Challenge ... (click for more)

Kentucky Lake Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament Scheduled For May 17

Registration is underway for the Fifth Annual Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament to be held at Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake, Saturday, May 17. The tournament format will be a three-fish limit with a guaranteed first prize of $2,000. The cost of the tournament is $110 per boat (two anglers maximum). Entrants who register by the end of the day on May 1 will receive a free ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)