The article below was found on Page 1 of the February 11, 1897 edition of the RANGELEY LAKES newspaper. It shares the fascinating account of an unlikely partnership forged by natural enemies to obtain food. Both the wolf and mountain lion are currently extirpated from Maine and have been for a century and a half or more. Some biologists believe that Maine’s forests have never supported panthers at all. The old papers I have read share many accounts of mountain lions. North America’s largest cat has many names depending upon where they are found. The Mountain lion is also known as: panther, painter, puma, cougar (although that now has a new 21st century definition), purple panther, ghost cat, deer tiger, screamer, mountain screamer, catamount, purple feather, lion and in 19th century Maine they were locally known as “Indian Devils”. 
The three accounts within the same region of Maine at the same time appeared to have convinced some folks back in the day and, to this day, makes for some interesting newsprint. Please enjoy what follows and as you frolic around the forests of Rangeley making some outdoor history of your own, keep a sharp eye out for partnering critters!
All text reprinted just as it appeared in 1897.

 This Beats the Sugar Trust or the Paper and Pulp Combine. 
[ Reprinted from the New York Sun ].

Two wolves and a panther formed an alliance in Maine a month ago, if the Bredville Local of that state is to be believed, and the result has been disastrous to wild creatures of that region, as well as to some tame ones. “Barker Simpkins and Fred Parsley,” the Local says, were hunting over on the Old Pine ridge a few days ago, when they heard a yelping howl across the swamp as if dogs were chasing a deer. As the sounds came closer the men made haste with still hunters’ caution to two runways that cross the ridge, hoping to get a shot at the dogs, since it is against the law to hunt deer with dogs in this state. Simpkins took the runway on the north side of the ridge, and had waited scarcely ten minutes when he heard the steady beat of a running deer’s hooves in the three inches of snow down in the swamp. The deer came into sight twenty rods away, headed very nearly toward the place where the man was seated, and had come within ten rods of the man when a lithe form leaped from a big birch tree branch, hit the deer, and rolled over and over with it. The deer never got up again, its neck having been broken. “Simpkins was so surprised that he forgot to shoot, for a minute, when the animals that were in pursuit of the deer came into view. They were wolves, tall and gaunt, with gray hair. The wolves ran without hesitation to the deer, and while the beast that had killed it, which Simpkins made out to be a panther, tore at the deer’s throat, the wolves bit through the skin of the haunches and ate chunks of the smoking flesh, unopposed by the panther.” Less than a week later another hunter, Sam Wells, found the trails of two doglike sets of paws on a deer trail. Following these two miles, Wells came to a gully, and here were the remnants of the deer, and the leaps a panther had made left an unmistakable track.”

Vintage 19th Century color plate of the mighty Mountain Lion

Nick Schumacher, a German, living two miles from Bredville, a farmer and sheep raiser, heard a wild commotion in the sheep shelter in the pasture, which begins thirty rods from his house. Hastening into a pair of overalls and felt boots, Schumacher took his rifle and made his way rapidly along the path to the shelter. The sheep, there had been fifty-eight of them in all, were seen to be racing about in all directions, bleating in fear. On the man’s approach a long animal bounded off through the snow, but until it was beyond the sheep no shots were fired, and they were ineffectual when they were made. Two other animals were there, but the German did not see them. Their trails, found in the morning, showed them to have been wolves, probably, and the trail of the jumper was that of a panther. Eight sheep were killed, some of them being literally torn in two.”
The last heard of the odd trio was yesterday. Burt Jones went fox hunting with his dog, a half bull and half hound, which had put many bears into trees. Finding the wolves’ trails, Jones put his dog on to them. Three hours later, Jones, who followed the trail of his dog, came up with it. A hip and bit of the backbone were on a log, and tracks indicated that one of the wolves had lain there to eat its share. The head and fore shoulders had plainly fallen to the lot of the panther, for the bones were found under a branch of a large beech, as if dropped from the beech. The rest of the body had gone to the second wolf and lay where the trampled snow showed the dog’s last fighting place. It looked to Jones as if the wolves had led the dog to the panther’s resting place and there, with the panther’s aid, had killed it.”

Have a great week everyone!

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