Have you seen any cougars running around Tennessee lately? Up until recently, a cougar sighting in Tennessee would get the same response as a Bigfoot sighting. Wildlife experts were certain that there were no cougars residing as far east as Tennessee. As it turns out, those “Tennessee hillbillies” did know the difference between a bobcat and a cougar. (In case you don’t know, cougars have a long tail like a lion.) The Tennessee Wildlife Resourse Agency (TWRA) indicates that the cougar may be returning to Tennessee. It actually seems like they are trying to say it without saying they were wrong.
“There haven’t been any cougars in Tennessee since the early 1900’s. Similar to Tennessee’s wild elk and buffalo, the cougar was extirpated from the state due to over hunting and habitat loss. However, the cougar may be coming back to Tennessee
Although the site states that there have been no confirmed cougar sightings, they do allot considerable time to instructing Tennessee residents what to do if they encounter one of these cats, the largest in the United States. If pursued by one of these animals, remember that they are carnivores. Do not run or play dead, but try to appear as large and formidable as you can and fight back.
There are many eyewitness reports to substantiate the claim that cougars have returned to the state of Tennessee. Union University publishes the reports in detail. You can peruse the list to see what has been spotted in your part of the state. One interesting report was in a lady who was staying in a cabin between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with small children. After seeing a cougar nearby, she wanted to alert other parents.