In our May 15, 2011, newspaper issue, we reported on the Glen Alpine NC search for a large cat seen repeatedly in the area by residents and police patrols.
Reports from their local police described the animal as having a very long tail and being at least 80 lbs, which may contradict the belief that large cats like cougars have been gone from North Carolina for multiple decades.
Speaking with Wilson County resident Reuben Mosley, more evidence came to light about large cats in North Carolina; specifically the Wilson and Nash county areas. A retired minister with the International Pentecostal Church, Reverend Mosley and his family saw cougars no less than three times during the late 1990s — as early as 16 years ago.
Reverend Mosley reported to us that he had seen not only a cougar, but a momma cougar with three cubs near I-95 and what he refers to as the River Road crossing. On a bright summery afternoon in 1994, Reverend Mosley saw a large cat bound three times over the guard rail and across the road near I-95 as he was driving to church service. Just a few weeks later, he and his wife, Ann, saw what was likely the same cat bounding across the road in the same area, with three cubs chasing after, speckled with tails waggling behind them. He estimates the momma was around seven feet long with her tail, and the cubs about a foot high each.
The following year while visiting with his then brother-in-law, Reverend Mosley was surprised to have his brother-in-law report sighting a large cat walking through their field before stretching out in the sun for awhile.
These three Wilson / Nash sightings come several decades after cougars were thought to be gone from North Carolina. If you’re driving in the early evening near I-95 close to the river, you too may see these amazing animals in action, alive and well in the wild.
Originally published in The Grey Area newspaper (printed) July 1, 2011.