New Jersey Winery Mountain Lion Sightings Turn Into Surprise

| Published on October 18, 2016

Hammton’s Winery, located in New Jersey, was taken by surprise the first time their vineyard security camera showed a large, cat-like figure walking by outside. There was no mistake, thought those at the winery – this light tan animal was a mountain lion. Obviously alarmed, they reached out to local Fish and Wildlife officials. They certainly didn’t want a mountain lion living in their vineyard as this could pose a danger to humans and the big cat.

Yesterday, DEP spokesman Larry Hajna had an even bigger surprise for the winery. According to Larry Herrighty, the assistant director for operations in the division of fish and wildlife, the winery’s video and another trail camera with a similar sighting had not captured any footage of a mountain lion at all. The animal was, in fact, a house cat. Everyone in the area is certainly relieved. “We’d much rather that it be a house cat than a mountain lion, to be honest with you,” Hajna told CBS News.

Hajna reports that mountain lions haven’t lived in the New Jersey area for roughly a century, so the sighting was unlikely but certainly worth looking into. Thankfully it turned out to be a harmless house cat just on a late-night stroll. But this does go to show how similar our domestic cats are to their wild cousins – on a camera, they’re practically identical. Pretty impressive for such little felines!