Here's the story we've been throwing around for the last year and a half: Are there mountain lions in New Jersey?
State wildlife officials will say "no" about the animals in New Jersey, but hundreds of residents claim they've seen them in the Garden State. We've done a number of stories on the subject and they can be found by clicking here.
In the meantime, my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) has become a touch-point for people to report their sightings. So, let's go!
1. S.K.: "I saw a Mountain Lion, at least I think it was a Mountain Lion, while I was driving on the parkway near Barnegat 2 Years ago. I love Nature and animals and I'm always looking for a deer or fox in the woods and I swear it was a Mountain Lion, because you know, it looked like a Mountain Lion."
2. J.F: "I've seen 2 in my lifetime (36 years) in Green Twp. The most recent was in 2013 in person. The farmer who lives behind me has trail cams. Here’s what he captured:"
3. S.F.: "One trip of many to Worthington State Park, Exit 1 off Rt 80. I saw an animal come across the road about 40 yards ahead from left moving right (the left is riverside), and it crawled low and catlike as if was sneaking across the road in a rush, then hopped into the forest to evade my passing and it looked like a puma with tail and all. I stopped at the very location it scurried into the forest for a better look and the bush was dense without a trail cutting through and it was then I realized it had jumped over the brush that was 7-8 ft tall! It was remarkable to see even if I was alone."
4. Ann: "I am a retired truck driver who started work in the very early morning hours. Those are the hours that on 3 occasions I without any doubt at all know I saw a mountain lion. 2 of the sightings I’m assuming were the same lion. I saw this lion on 2 separate mornings in the graveyard beside the church across from Pub 517 in Tranquility NJ. The other sighting was in the yard of a home on the southbound side of 31 in Butzville NJ about a half mile south of the 46/31 intersection. All 3 lions were very large with the unmistakable long swooping tail."
5. T.S: "I saw something in a far distance in Lumberton NJ . My boyfriend and I were on public transportation heading back to Wrightstown, NJ. I looked out the window and there was a very large open field. I saw something that looked like a wild animal. I know my eyes weren't playing tricks on me, I know the looks of difference between a deer, a fox, and of course a lion. There's no comparison as big as this animal was. I'm 10000% sure it was a mountain lion. This animal was slowly approaching the woods."
6. M.K.: " I reside in Montague which is the most northern municipality in NJ bordered by the Delaware River, PA, and NY. Approximately 3/4 of the Township is DWGNRA, High Point State Park, Stokes State Forest, Nature Conservancy, and heavily wooded. About 5 years ago I was driving south on Clove Road and just before Millville Rd I saw a mountain lion cross Clove from east (swampy area backing up to golf course) to west and up behind the Montague Vet building. I saw the entire body of that beautiful animal. It had a predominant tail that curls slightly at the end and a tan or golden color body. Very muscular. When I returned home I looked up pictures of mountain lions to ensure I was correct and I was."
7. J.C.: "In the summer of 1997, off Berkshire Valley Road in North Jersey. We were riding quads in the woods and in the sand pits that are now Berkshire Valley Golf Course. We were at the top of the mountain looking down at Green Pond and saw the Mountain Lion come across the trail we were riding on. We were so excited and nervous at the same time. I remember calling the NJ State Fish and Wildlife and telling them what I had seen the prior afternoon riding and they said no way not possible. I said, "O I am 100 percent sure of what we just witnessed." Absolutely saw this mountain lion perfectly and it was amazing!
8. J.G.: "We moved to the Watchung Mountains when I was a kid and yes they were in our yard at night! We had to be in before dark and I remember riding my bike home and looking up at the trees thinking they could jump on me. In the winter you could see their footprints on our porch and under our dining room window! They would also leave their claw marks on our pine trees. Once when my mom went to work we snuck out to play hide & seek and it had rained earlier and we saw a Mountain Lion drinking the water from a puddle in our driveway! We called them Pumas and you could hear them at night with their screams. We lived in Warren Township ( from 1959 into the early 1960s. That experience scared me to this day and I’m 70 years old now."
9. L.F.: " I am an aquatic biologist in New Jersey. I was working up near Sussex on a private farm pond when I saw these two large animals together. I am certain it is of no animal I have seen before, and I have spent countless hours in the woods of New Jersey."
10. A.K.: "I have witnessed mountain lions or something like that at Robbinsville, NJ Airport. I was attending my pilot lesson at AirMod Airport code N87. It was Saturday in May or June 2022. I was returning home from my class and I saw it was walking by the runway. I was on Sharon Road which is parallel to the runway."
11. K.D.: " I KNOW FOR SURE that I saw a mountain lion, several years back. Don’t recall the year, but it was definitely prior to 2019, as that’s when I retired. I’m a retired rural mail carrier and my former route was Lake Shawnee, in Jefferson Township, Morris County. I was the carrier for Lake Shawnee for nearly 25 years. One day on my route, I was making a U-turn at the top of the hill on a dead-end street (Tecumseh Ridge) that bordered woods. As I approached the end of the street, I saw it…standing still in the trees & staring right at me. Our eyes were locked and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…a huge tan cat with golden yellow eyes, pointed ears (without tufts), a heavy body build, and a long tail. My heart was pounding."
12. K.V.: "I've had a couple of encounters right here in my hometown of Ringwood NJ. The one encounter was a mother and her cub or a mating pair they came right out of the woods right across from our house. And my neighbors both saw it at the same time as me. We were all shocked to see them. But we know they exist right here in the Garden State. My 10-year-old son saw one 2 or 3 years ago crossing the children's play park right next to our house. It was during the pandemic the park is right outside our house. My mom was taking them to play on the basketball court at our park just so my son and nephews could ride their bikes and one came out my son came flying back home white as a ghost and went directly to his iPad looked it up and said mom I just saw this and he kept repeating it because it scared him so bad! Also, several other people in my town have seen them and we even hear them scream. We come from a family of hunters and gathers and we know the woods and animals very thoroughly and we know how to tell animals apart including the sounds they make. I called the state and complained and the lady laughed and said, "Oh there is no such thing." I just laughed back at her and said, 'Wow' and hung up."
13. J.S.: " Last year I was driving shotgun with my friend. We crossed over from Layton, NJ over the Dingman’s Bridge. As we approach the red light to make a left onto 209 South, I see a mountain lion huddling down behind a mound or small hill waiting for us to go so he can cross the road. I'd say he was about 4-5 feet long. I can see his small tail move like a cat. I’m 100% positive it was a mountain lion. I’ve seen a handful from living in Evergreen, Colorado. It was the first time I’ve seen one on the East Coast. It blew my mind."
14. K.L.: "I would like to report seeing a mountain lion in the parking lot while working at Capital Health Medical Center in Ewing NJ. At first, I thought it was a cat from a distance, but as I got closer I realized that it was not a cat but a young mountain lion wandering through the parking lot. I dashed into my car and never looked back."
15. P.M.: "It was about 2009, I was coming home to Lambertville from a job interview in Atlantic City. I was traveling north on Route 539 out of Tuckerton, around MM 12. When at first what I thought was a deer, crossed the road about 100 yards in front of me. But the tail was long and the head was not shaped like a deer head. Then I realized it was a large cat, a mountain lion. When I arrived home, I called the Game and Wildlife Department of New Jersey and I told the gentleman what I saw and where it happened."
Thanks to everyone who has reached out with their stories. If you have a sighting story, please email details to email@example.com.