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TWRA confirms cougar sighting in Wayne County

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has confirmed a cougar sighting in Wayne County on property located between Linden and the county seat of Waynesboro. (Image: TWRA)

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has confirmed a cougar sighting in Wayne County on property located between Linden and the county seat of Waynesboro.

A trail camera captured the cat’s image on September 4.

“We often get asked what it means if we confirm the documentation of a cat in an area where we haven’t seen one before,” said Joy Sweaney, a wildlife biologist with TWRA and head of the agency’s Cougar Action Team.

“Most likely they are repeated sightings of an individual cougar, as they can travel long distances in a short period of time. However, there is no way of knowing for sure if it is the same individual or a new arrival.”

The wildlife agency has confirmed eight sightings since September 2015.

This is the first documented sighting in Wayne County.

A list of Tennessee confirmed cougar sightings can be found on TWRA’s website.

Other states surrounding Tennessee are also confirming the presence of western cougars, which have been expanding their range for years.

“We suspect that cougars are expanding from western populations as there have been many recently documented sightings in Arkansas and Missouri,” noted Sweaney.

There are no hunting seasons established on cougars in Tennessee.

Anyone sighting a cougar, especially accompanied by supporting evidence, is asked to contact the TWRA.

Telephone numbers and email address are listed on the agency’s website.

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