Arcadia, VA - A Botetourt County man thinks he may be the latest to have spotted a cougar in Virginia and has a picture from a trail cam for consideration.
According to state biologists there have been no dead cougars produced in Virginia in more than 140 years.No trappings.No good pictures.But still many believe these mountains indeed do have the big cats.
"When I saw it I said, 'That's a mountain lion', because its tail was almost as long as his body. I didn't say much about it because most people will say, 'You saw a bobcat',"said James M. Eubank
He believes he saw one five years ago near his rural mountain home.
This year he believes his son James Edward, who has put out wildlife cameras for 15 years, may have hit the jackpot.
"Of course with the pictures we got now, from a trail cam, you can see that it does have a long tail. It is not a bobcat because the body length is too big,"said the elder Eubank.
It is one example of hundreds over the years that center around Bedford, Amherst and Nelson Counties stretching all the way up through the Shenandoah Valley.
"I've never seen a bobcat that long and you can't really see any spots on it at all and I've got some pictures from the last two weeks that... I've got a couple bobcats on 'em and you see spots all over them,"said the younger Eubank.
James Edward isn't claiming the picture is of a cougar he is just interested in what others think.
His dad doesn't need any more convincing.
He's sure they are here whether this picture proves it or not.
"Anybody who sees the picture... they can tell that it is a mountain lion," said John B. Eubank.
State biologists do not confirm or deny cougars exist in Virginia but do say there has been no concrete proof there is.
They do expect that will change as migration patterns of cougars change.
Biologists are seeing western cougars moving farther east.
One cougar, killed by a car in 2011 in Connecticut was traced, through forensics to have made the trip from South Dakota via Michigan and New York.