If cougar somehow escaped detection in Pennsylvania for a century, they'd be awfully shy and retiring. Why all the hype and fear then?

Because it makes for good pennysaver tabloid copy, perhaps?

'Cuz what card-carrying Appalachian Hillbilly (and I can say that with a smile, bein' that I are one, born at Lewisberry, York Co., PA, yet a property-owner in Armstrong Co.) can resist a good Guv'ment Rev'noor conspiracy theory and ghost story rolled into one?

But I remain skeptical that they're there, and find it simply not credible at all that there is any present proliferation of them.

Here in CA, I see beaucoups lion sign, clearly and incontrovertably P. concolor: scrapes, scat and tracks, and yet very, very few lions. Yet we have them in relative abundance. There'd be similar incontrovertable evidence of them, if they were established residents in PA. With so many hunters as yote tote mentions, more and more evidence should be turned up, contrasted with relatively few actual sightings... but that's apparently not the case, is it?

How very true that many bobcat sightings get reported as lion sightings.

Further, I happen to know what ML mostly eat (deer) and what little collateral damage they cause (livestock and pets, occasionally, extremely low incidence of attacks on humans, even where abundant). Happen to also have a pretty good idea of what roughly ~1 million PA deer eat (themselves out of house-and-home) and what collateral damage they cause (crazed buck gorings of people during the rut, thousands upon thousands of annual car accidents-incl. lots of human fatalities- high prevalence of deer-tick borne Lyme disease-- and these are just for starters.) So if there happens to be a few surviving or returning and now resident cougars it would not, on balance, necessarily be a bad thing for Pennsylvanians.

Many emoticons, making for true and lasting feeling