Cougar on the Dark and Bloody Ground
I've always thought it likely the Eastern puma has, just barely, escaped its official extinction. Two sightings in the Ashland, Kentucky area have put authorities on alert.
As Doubtful News' Sharon Hill notes correctly, it's common to have puma/cougar/mountain lion sightings that turn out to be caused by smaller cats or by dogs seen under difficult conditions. And I'm not one of those cryptozoologists who insists "where there's lots of smoke, there must be some fire." But I think that's the case concerning this cat. There have been some very good sightings in KY, TN, and elsewhere, and the protection of habitat and explosion in the deer population bode well for puma survival. I don't know about the Ashland cat, but I don't automatically write off such encounters.