Re(1): Ellisville State Park cougar killed crossing 3A in S. Plymouth, MA IP: 22.214.171.124 Posted on October 18, 2016 at 01:49:42 PM by Rebecca
I am so relieved to read this. In 2010, I lived within a few miles of this park. I had an experience that will probably forever mystify, terrify and leave me shaken.
I came home from work very late one night. I Went into my house for a minute, turned on the side yard light (which only barely iluminated a small section of the brush bordering our yard) It was a beautiful brisk night so I stepped out onto the side yard, near our chicken coop to take in the fresh air. It seemed peaceful. Immediately after stepping outside, I heard some loud crumpling bushes. I just assumed it was a raccoon, as they had commonly tried visiting our chickens in hope of a reachable snack. I chalked up the momentary crunching of leaves to be be the sound of the raccoons retreat. I thought nothing more of it and continued to stare off into the darkness. Everything was very quiet and still. At the time, I thought it was peaceful. In hindsight, had I known what was about to come, I would have realized this absolutely quiet, (not even a chirp or a peep from the coop as they usually made,) was natures way of warning.
As I stood in the darkness for about 5 minutes, I thought I was alone. Little did I know, I wasn't. The silence was soon violated with the scariest sound I have ever heard in my life. Six years later, Im still haunted by what I heard that night and still about that moment in time at least once a day.
The meanest, strongest, loudest and longest hissss I have ever heard in my life!...I haven't been able to adequately describe the magnitude of this hiss. When people hear that I heard "a hiss", they automatically think kitty cat or possum maybe. But let me tell you....It was the sound nightmares are made of because it was so loud and strong it literally vibrated me. It was very clear that I was standing within feet of this creature. It scared the S*#T of me and honestly, I don't think Ill ever quite be the same as before that experience.
My first response, I had later come to learn, was the worst response possible. I turned for the handle of my porch slider. But as I scurried to get inside of my house, I caught a glimpse of this animal retreating through the woods and as it happened, passing through the very small section of bush that the porch light dimly lit. I clearly saw the color and the hind quarters. It had short fur, golden brown in color and big like a huge dog. I could not see the tip of his tail as it must have been low to the ground and hidden beneath the bushes the animal was walking through. I only saw it for a a second or two as I was too busy hurrying for my life.
I ran inside, closed the sliding door as fast as I could and broke down in tears as I felt like I had almost been attacked. At the time, I was convinced a coyote almost ate me. The sound of his HISSS played over and over in my head. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think straight. It was crazy to think I stood alone that night, in the complete darkness, face to face, for at least five minutes, in a stare down with a predator who was clearly sizing me up and deciding whether to attack me or retreat...and I was completely unaware that danger was so close. I was within 3-5 feet of this huge angry animal who I probably caught off guard trying to prey on my chickens and I almost became the prey.
I didn't really know much about wildlife at the time. I thought a coyote almost ate me...lol. Soon after, when I learned that coyotes cannot hiss, I became determined to figure out what kind of creature it was. I needed to figure out what kind of animal can make the sound I heard, would have behaved the way this one did if it was surprised and felt threatened, AND...what would have matched the description of the small section I did manage to see. I researched every animal under the sun. Living in manomet for nearly all of my life, I Have seen foxes, deer, plenty of coons, possums, minks, coyotes, a trapped fisher cat up close....bobcats at the zoo. And despite NOT living in an area where there are verified sightings of mountain lions, a cougar is literally the only creature that (other than geography) would make sense. But cougars in manomet? People would think I was crazy! And after all, I couldn't really claim to have seen one, for sure. I don't know what it was, for sure. But probably until the day I die, I will always wonder what animal that was that night. I wish I could know for sure. But at least reading your article makes me feel like it is NOT completely without possibility, rare as that may be....