Heading for the Wild, Wild East

North America's biggest cat, the mountain lion, is making a comeback

North America's biggest cat is making a comeback and seems to be heading east in the process. After retreating to the western half of the country for more than a century, scores of cougars--a.k.a. mountain lions--have been spotted in the Midwest in recent years, thanks to the species-protection programs enacted by most Western states in the 1960s. And though the number of tawny carnivores in places like Illinois, Iowa and Missouri is still small--since 2003, only two dozen sightings have been confirmed in the Midwest--Clay Nielsen, a wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University and head researcher at the nonprofit Cougar Network,...

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