In Hammonton, N.J., a brief video appears to show a puma strolling through a winery vineyard.
On Oct. 9, 2016, a post on Hammonton winery’s Facebook page featured a five-second video of a light tan animal that many believed was a cougar or puma.
“Larry Herrighty, our assistant director for operations in the division of fish and wildlife, reviewed the video and the trail-cam photo, and concluded the animal in both is, in fact, a house cat,” said DEP spokesman Larry Hajna. “We’d much rather that it be a house cat than a mountain lion, to be honest with you.”
Hajna adds that although cougars haven’t lived in New Jersey for more than a century, some other big critters are residents of the Garden State.
“You may run into a coyote, or even a bear. The general rule of thumb is just to leave wildlife alone,” he said.