I have been primarily coyote hunter and outdoorsman for decade. Have spent days in the woods of different states from indiana to alabama to south Carolina. Not only have I heard pretty reliable stories from fellow outdoorsman regarding big cats in various areas. I've had several questionable encounters at night. Now am I sure that they are eastern pumas? No. Personally the encounters I've had could of been large bobcats it's not easy to make a good ID at night. But the other evidence from stories to deer carcass in trees, trail cam pics, and tracks all point to big cats definitely roaming east of mississippi river from time to time. But are these big cats eastern pumas or are they mountain lions from out west coming from places like nebraska, texas, Missouri, south Dakota that are expanding their territory back into historical ranges? I can't say for sure that there isn't eastern pumas still alive in isolated pockets. But the mountain lions that have been killed by Illinois and kentucky game wardens. Definitely supports theory of mountain lions trying to reclaim lost turf. I truly hope that either their is still isolated pockets of eastern pumas alive or the mountain lions from out west can succeed at reclaiming lost territory. They deserve a place in the east just like they do in the west. If we could just get game wardens and hunters to quit killing them maybe they'd have a chance.