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Is There This Beast In Our Midst? What is it about cougars? Why does this phantom of the eastern woods stimulate such passion among so many people? For decades wildlife biologists have been telling us that they do not exist east of the Mississippi and yet each year there are hundreds of people claiming to have seen one. Is there any truth to these claims, or are they misidentifications, wishful thinking or tall tales? Nature writer Robert Tougias journeys deep into the world of the cougar and into the reasoning of those that believe they exist and those that do not. The Quest For The Eastern Cougar: Extinction or Survival? is an informative voice of reason that quiets the confusion regarding the powerful predator. It tells us about the cat's historic demise and alleged modern human encounters. The scientific explanations as to why one ought to believe or dismiss the cougar's presence are unraveled. It discusses the ultimate question: whether or not cougars have survived in the East or have already left us. No matter what you choose to believe, cougars are likely to continue to make the news. Cougars are turning up in unthinkable places these days, attacks are becoming more frequent out West, eastern sightings have increased and are beginning to offer better evidence. We will be hearing much more about these powerful carnivores, and in the not too distant future we will see more of them. Are there cougars lurking in your back woodlot? Is the East ready for this magnificent predator? "In this readable, well-researched book, Robert Tougias has made a valuable and timely contribution to the public and scientific discourse about mountain lions in the East and the potential for their recovery. This book deserves to be widely read by conservationists, researchers, policy makers and anyone interested in America's lion." Christopher Papouchis Conservation Biologist Mountain Lion Foundation Sacramento, CA Robert Tougias sheds much-needed light on one of America's most intriguing wildlife mysteries. This book is for anyone who's ever wondered about the creatures that haunt our forests and our collective imagination. David Baron Author- Beast In The Garden Norton Publishing.