Imagine turning around and seeing a Mountain Lion ready to attack your 2 1/2 year old daughter.

That's exactly what happened to a Stillwater, New Jersey mom. Thankfully, Mom also yelled and the mountain lion turned and ran off into the woods.

Sussex County NJ
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Are there mountain lions in New Jersey?

The official word from the State of New Jersey Fish and Wildlife folks are that there are no mountain lions in New Jersey.

More and more people have been coming forward over the last few years that make many question that claim.

I've been writing about New Jersey residents' claims of seeing, hearing, and encountering mountain lions. cougars, and panthers in New Jersey - and the claims keep coming in.

One of my colleagues refers to me as the "Mountain Lion Whisperer."

You can check out a lot of these stories right here. Over the last few years, witness claims have reached me from all over New Jersey - north and south. The most claims, though, come from the north, especially Sussex County.

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Stillwater Township, New Jersey
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Stillwater residents claims to have seen and heard mountain lions

Gigi C. has recently reached out to me about her mountain lion experiences in Stillwater, New Jersey.

Gigi says she lives very close to both Stillwater Lake and Swartswood State Park.

She says she saw her first mountain lion in 2020 at her home:

"We had heard her screaming in the woods in the wee hours of the morning for several nights before. It sounded like a woman or young child crying out desperately. Unsettling to say the least.

"We heard her hunting ducks in the lake, and she even left a deer head between my house and Stillwater Lake."

Then, on the night in question at 2 am, Gigi says the motion-detector flood light on her back deck went on. " She was standing right there, mere feet from us, the pane of glass that is my sliding door the only thing separating us."

"My 2.5 y/o exclaimed excitedly 'That's a f***ing lion!'"

LOL. Gigi says that was the first and last time (so far) that she heard her child swear.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

Mountain Lion approaches child

Gigi says another encounter was way more frightening.

She says she was strapping her kid's car seat into the car, getting ready to leave.

She said she turned her back on her daughter for a second, and all of a sudden "had the ominous feeling of a mother's intuition."

What happened next will give you goosebumps.

"I quickly turned to see my daughter on all fours climbing several steps on my neighbor's property that lead from the shared driveway up a steep hill. Just beyond my crawling child, 30 yards away was the mountain lion. She was eyeing my child, in a lowered position, about to pounce!

"I cried "NO!" at the very top of my voice, at which point the lion looked up at me and swiftly turned to run toward the forest. I'll never forget the clear vision I had of her, and as she ran away, her muscular legs and long train trailing behind her."

Thankfully, everyone was OK.

Photo by Zach Key on Unsplash
Photo by Zach Key on Unsplash

Have you had an encounter with a mountain lion in New Jersey?

If you have a New Jersey mountain lion story - or photos or video - I'd love to hear from you! My email is

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