Treasure #18 Eastern cougar

Eastern cougar

Eastern cougar

This Eastern cougar (or mountain lion, the names are interchangeable) was shot on the Cartland Farm in Lee by William Chapman of Newmarket in 1853. It was the last cougar killed in New Hampshire, and the species was declared extinct in 2011. Its body was preserved with the crude taxidermy of that time which involved stuffing the carcass with straw or paper rather than using internal sculptural molds. It was given to the Museum by Chapman’s son, Sewall. Despite ongoing cougar “sightings” still claimed around the state, the Fish & Game Department reports no physical or photographic evidence that the big cat is back in New Hampshire.

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