The extraordinary saga of one wild mountain lion’s two-thousand-mile journey from the American West to the Atlantic Coast.
Late one June night in 2011, an SUV collided with a large animal on a Connecticut parkway, a creature appearing as something out of New England’s forgotten past. Beside the road lay a 140-pound mountain lion.
Speculations ran wild, figuring the lion as somebody’s exotic pet turned loose, or perhaps a ghostly survivor from a bygone century when lions last roamed the eastern United States. But facts even more fantastic soon unfolded. The lion was just three years old, a barely weaned teenager with a trail reaching back through two thousand miles of hostile terrain to the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was the farthest landbound trek ever recorded for a wild animal in America.
Here is the story of the lion’s two-year journey—from his embattled birthplace in the Black Hills, across the Great Plains and the Mississippi River, through Midwest metropolises and remote northern forests, to his tragic finale upon Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Along the way, the lion traverses land with people gunning for his kind, as well as those championing his cause.
Heart of Lion is a romantic tragedy, a hero’s quest, with a background lens focused upon the ambivalent nation of people this lone cat traversed. As to whether the take-home is one of hope or despair, let the reader decide.