In 1985, the Willimantic Chronicle carried a story, and picture, of a large cat in a tree in Goodwin Forest. A large tail can be seen on the cat. Using reference objects, the cat without the tail can clearly be established to be greater then 3 ft. This eliminates a house cat, and a bobcat for size. Bobcats do not have long tails. This cat had the tail wrapped around the tree. In that article, it quotes Robert Craig, Zoologist for DEEP as saying that he had not viewed this picture, but “He has viewed other photos that clearly show cougars”. He further states that the CT woods could provide good habitat for cougars. A Clark University study clearly shows the habitat is available in adjacent Massachusetts. Interestingly, right where the sightings come from over the years. COV has made a request of DEEP to provide any or all of these photos and documents related to this. In the past, they have proven very unresponsive to requests via the Freedom of Information Act. We await their response.
Response to the Freedom of Information act request: (initially denied with no comment)
Please be advised that any records relating that far back would have been destroyed under the State Records Retention Schedules, and authorized by the State Librarian. Thank you.