Are There Mountain Lions In Alabama? Everything You Need To Know

Mountain Lions In Alabama

Just think about mountain lions and you’ll think about rocky terrains and deep vegetation. One thing we know about them is that they’re ambush hunters and need nooks and crannies to spring out from. 

You’d think a lot of the US states would be great hideouts for them, right? Alabama has the foothills of the Appalachians (an ideal kind of terrain for the big cats) so the mountain lions could live there with great ease. But is that really the case?

Are There Mountain Lions In Alabama?

According to Alabama wildlife experts, there aren’t any native Mountain Lion species in the state of Alabama. Mountain lions have been extinct in all the eastern US states for over a century now and Alabama isn’t an exception (Florida is the only one which is). 

So yes, Alabama might have a lot of cool territory that the lions would love, from woodlands to hilly areas to swamps. Doesn’t mean a thing when the big cats were hunted to extinction by our ancestors years ago.

Let’s give the old Americans the benefit of the doubt. They really thought that the mountain lions were a threat to their lives and their cattle. People weren’t all that educated back in the 1800s and had no clue that mountain lion attacks are rarer than death by rabies dogs. But alas, it means that our mountain lion populations have dwindled to just a few of the western states. 

There are mountain lion sightings from time to time but are people really seeing what they think they’re seeing?

Mountain Lion Sightings In Alabama

Mountain Lions In Alabama

People claim to see mountain lions in the eastern states just as often as they claim to see Bigfoot. It’s wild that a real, living, breathing animal has taken on the same status as a mythical being. Not for nothing is the cougar also called the ghost cat. Even when they live in a state, we don’t get to see them.

The last confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Alabama was in 1956. That’s a long, long time ago. The cat was found in Tuscaloosa County and probably strolled in from Texas or Florida, where the nearest mountain lions are. 

Hundreds of thousands of game cameras have been set up all over the state but all they’ve managed to come up with are a bunch of blurry photos. Are we seeing a mountain lion in the wild or a feral cat? Nor have tracks or road kills been found. So I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t any mountain lions in Alabama for you to see.

People often mistake animals like bobcats, coyotes, housecats, raccoons, domestic dogs, and even black bears and deer as mountain lions. Wow, we really want to see that elusive cat, don’t we? We’ll take just about any animal as a replacement. People even claim to see black cougars, which is a thing that doesn’t even seem to exist. 

When Was the Last Mountain Lion Killed In Alabama?

The last mountain lion that was an official resident of Alabama was killed in 1948. Since then, young males might walk into the state from time to time. But we’ve found neither mortal remains nor tracks to support this theory. That’s all that’s remained so far – a theory. 

Also, Check Our Guide On Mountain Lions In the U.S.

Can You Kill a Mountain Lion In Alabama?

Sure you can, but only if the mountain lion is preying on your livestock and property. Alabama, unlike Texas, doesn’t see mountain lions as a ‘game’ so there’s no official hunting season. 

The mountain lion is considered a protected animal in Alabama. If you do somehow see one out in the wild, your first instinct should be to take a picture as evidence, not to kill. Your second instinct should be to let the wildlife officials know about its presence. 

What To Do If You See a Mountain Lion In Alabama?

Mountain Lions In Alabama

If you see a mountain lion in Alabama, you’re seeing something that no one has seen in 70 years. Firstly, keep calm and don’t try to run unless you want to be chased down. Mountain lions aren’t fond of humans and they’ll try to avoid you by slinking away if they can. 

If you maintain eye contact and make yourself look bigger and stronger than the cat, it’ll run. Unless it has babies and feels threatened, in which case it might attack. Fight back with a stick and definitely don’t try to play dead. (Humans have fought off mountain lions before, you wouldn’t be the first one.)

But mountain lion attacks are rare enough to almost be negligible. These cats are very agile and surefooted and can probably hear you coming from a long way off. They’re not interested in confrontations with humans and try to stay away from us as far as possible.

What Big Cats Are In Alabama?

Let’s face the truth here. None of them. Big cats are rare and endangered all over the world anyway. Of the whole lot, only the jaguar and the mountain lion even live in the US and they’re confined to the western states. The only kind of wild cat we might find in Alabama now are bobcats. 

They’re common all over the United States, with their cute bobbed tails and wide faces. A lot of the time, the mountain lion you think you’re seeing is actually a bobcat. Our eyes like to trick us and we think they’re much bigger than they really are.

Also, Read About Mountain Lions in Arizona


And that was everything about the Mountain Lion In Alabama. I hope this article answers all your questions.

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