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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Cougar

Capt. Lewis, May 16, 1805--The morning was fair and the day proved favorable to our operations . . . in the early part of the day two of our men fired on a panther, a little below our encampment, and wounded it; they informed us that it was very large, had just killed a deer partly devoured it, and in the act of concealing the ballance as they discovered him.

[Clark describes the same event]

Capt. Clark, May 19, 1805--a fair morning . . . two of our men fired at a panther a little below our camp, this animale they say was large, had caught a Deer & eate it half & buried the ballance.

Capt. Lewis, August 3, 1805--. . . This morning they passed a small creek on Stard. at the entrance of which Reubin Fields killed a large Panther.  we called the creek after that animal Panther Creek.  they also passed a handsome little stream on Lard.  which is form (ed) of several large springs which rise in the bottoms along the base of the mountains with some little rivulets from the melting snows.  the beaver have formed many large dams on this stream.  they saw some deer Antelopes and the common birds of the country.  in the evening they passed a very solid rock and encamped on an island just above.  the Panther which Fields killed measured seven and 1/2 feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail.  it is precisely the same animal common to the western part of our country.

Capt. Clark, August 3, 1805--a fine morning  wind from the NE  I walked on Shore & killed a Deer, in my walk I saw a fresh track which I took to be an Indian from the Shape of the foot as the toes turned in, I think it probable that this Indian Spied our fires and Came to a Situation to view us from the top of a Small knob on the Lard. Side.  the river more rapid and Sholey than yesterday  one man R. F. killed a large Panther on the Shore.

Capt. Lewis, August 6, 1805--We set out this morning very early on our return to the forks . . . we found that three deer skins which we had left at a considerablehight on a tree were taken off which we supposed had been done by a panther.

Capt. Clark, August 6, 1805--a Clear morning Cool wind from the SW . . . Three skins which was left on a tree was taken off by the Panthers or wolves. 

 
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