Last year, I read a couple of cougar (aka mountain lion) books that I highly recommend by Chris Bolgiano.
First, Mountain Lion covers a history of mountain lions in the U.S. detailing their behaviors. The subtitle is An unnatural history of pumas and people. Of special interest to Virginians and other Easterners, is the last chapter The Spiritual Challenge of the Eastern Panther.
Second, Eastern Cougar: Historic Accounts, Scientific Investigations, New Evidence compiles evidence of the mountain lion’s existence in the Eastern U.S. While the Florida Panther is the only acknowledged population, after reading the book there is no question of mountain lions elsewhere in the East. The only outstanding question is whether there are breeding populations in the East. Naysayers claim that the substantiated evidence might only be rare migrants from the West or escaped pet lions.
Having seen a mountain lion, I am in the believer camp. I believe the instance of a mountain lion with cubs being hit by a vehicle in Georgia is evidence enough of a small population of eastern cougars (Puma concolor cougar). While the cubs escaped, the sighting (detailed in the book) is highly credible and the physical evidence of the adult female is indisputable.
I highly recommend these books, especially the Eastern Cougar book, for anyone interested in learning more.