Mountain Lion In Ohio: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Mountain Lion In Ohio
Mountain Lion In Ohio: Everything You Need To Know

Ohio houses distinct kinds of habitats and maintains a prosperous history of vibrant agricultural culture and aviation. These habitat types present in Ohio include marshes, prairies, forests, and the Great Lakes. 

However, despite its clearly unlimited habitat opportunities, can you believe that there is no breeding population of mountain lions living? 

Below, in this article, I’ve uncovered all the details you need to know about mountain lions living in Ohio.

Do Mountain Lions Live In Ohio?

Mountain lions are native species to Ohio, however, they are eliminated from the state and have extirpated been since the mid-1800s. There have been a few reports of people occasionally spotting mountain lions in Ohio, but, most of them are proven to be loose captured mountain lions.

Also, sometimes a few male mountain lions from established inhabitants move across extensive distances looking to launch their own territory.

But, these mountain lions are from nearby states and Ohio DNR has confirmed that there is no indication of a breeding population of mountain lions within the state at this moment.

What Are Mountain Lions Called In Ohio?

In Ohio, mountain lions are often called cougars, which is generally used to direct to the big wild known species. Scientifically it is called Puma concolor.

Though there is no presence of breeding populations of mountain lions in Ohio, this term is generally used to define species when discussing documented encounters or sightings. Also, many regional interpretations of names exist for this species, including pumas, catamounts, or even panthers.

Were There Ever Cougars In Ohio?

Mountain Lion In Ohio
Mountain Lion In Ohio: Everything You Need To Know

Yes, mountain lions were once a native specie to Ohio, that was present throughout the state. However, it was eliminated from the state in the early 1900s because of habitat loss, trapping, and hunting.

After the European settlement in the nation, many states lost huge populations of their animal species including mountain lions making them expirated from a few states. 

Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions IN US

Mountain Lion Sightings In Ohio?

Spotting a mountain lion in Ohio is very special as they are not present in the state. Actually, there has been not a single mountain lion in Ohio for almost three decades, so these cats are an urban legend than existence. Nevertheless, there have been a few confirmed or nearly assured sightings throughout these decades. 

In 2014, in the Shawnee State Forest, a larger cat that looked similar to a mountain lion was spotted by an administrator of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. It is said the animal was strolling in the Shawnee State Forest however, it vanished quickly beyond trees. 

The color and long tail description matched a mountain lion’s profile and it was the first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Ohio in a decade. But it was a domesticated mountain lion that was let loose or had escaped. 

In Clay’s Park Sand, in 2015, a sequel of strange paw prints was found by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, estimated to be about five to six inches in size but it can be a sizable dog, rather than a mountain lion.

Can You Shoot A Mountain Lion In Ohio?

The mountain lions in Ohio are protected as endangered animals, so it is illegal to shoot a mountain lion in Ohio. However, state law permits its residents to capture, kill, or hunt a mountain lion if it is causing damage to property or a threat to human life or livestock.

Also, the landowner must obtain a permit from the DNR when they want to kill a mountain lion. Any mountain lion killed must be instantly registered with the DNR wildlife office.

What Big Cats Are In Ohio?

Bobcats also called red lynx, is a native species of North America. Their range starts from southern Canada and extends to the southern United States and even down to central Mexico.

Before European settlement, bobcats were very common in Ohio. However, they were eliminated in 1850 due to habitat loss, conversion of land to agricultural areas, and overhunting. 

In the Mid-1900s, started to repopulate Ohio, and from then they have become a very sight and were taken down from the endangered animals list in 2014. Their population is the highest in regions with the densest forest like southeastern Ohio. Adult bobcats can be up to 3 feet long and 35 pounds in weight. Male bobcats are a bit bigger than female bobcats.

Also Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In New York


And that was everything you need to know about the Mountain Lion In Ohio. I hope this article answered all your questions.

Thank You For Reading!

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