However, a puma was killed on a highway in Connecticut in 2011 that was shown by genetic testing to have wandered more than 1,500 miles from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Pumas can wander very widely and are very secretive, so it is quite possible there are a few in the eastern US.
I fully expect them to expand their range, eventually, and have that encompass the east. There really isn’t anything stopping them anymore, and with deer populations exploding, there’s a good reason for them to do so. We co-exist with them in CA fairly well, although we do have a lot more non-populated habitat here even near the urban areas than you might find on the east coast. Certainly, northern New England and upstate NY should be good mountain lion habitat. I’m not as familiar with PA, but I seem to recall it’s pretty rural in the central part.
Who do I complain to to make the media here in California stop calling those critters “mountain lions”? Not only is the name much longer that “cougar”, “puma” or “panther”, it’s just wrong - doubly wrong.
“Mountain lion” is wrong because because they aren’t lions and they aren’t exclusive to mountains. Of course I realize common names don’t have to be accurate, but there are at least three other nice, commonly understood, non-inaccurate, shorter (half the number of syllables) terms – yet the media seem to prefer “mountain lion”. “Jellyfish” are now “jellies” and “starfish” are now “sea stars”; let’s retire “mountain lion” too.