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they definitely lived there up to the mid 19th century. I do believe they really were hunted to extinction because the farmers didn't want them eating their livestock. Where I lived was former farmland that was slowly being taken over by suburbia. Today it's a mess. A giant sprawl of "bedroom community" for NYC. But when I was growing up there was lots of woodland. The mountains however were mostly undeveloped and are not still. A lot of it is reservation.
I did ride at a stable, as a kid calld Catamount.
I couldn't find the original article that I read. Only a story from the NYT debunking it.
And I don't necessarily think that being a "Suffern Mountie" inspired my love of Mountain Lions. I am an all around natural science enthusiast. But I do love the mystery surrounding the big cat.
I wss trying to find a statistic about when the last cat was recorded killed in the Ramapo's but could not find it through google.
But here is an article about Harriman State park and Catamount.

Catamount

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