At least nine cougar sightings have been confirmed in the state of Tennessee. TWRA said they will be monitoring the natural expansion of the cougar and that all of the confirmed sightings have been in Middle or West Tennessee but there have been several possible sightings of cougars or panthers in East Tennessee. None have yet been confirmed by the TWRA. According to TWRA the cougar is native to Tennessee, but the population sharply declined due to hunting and habitat loss. Some officials say cougars could be beneficial, helping the state’s deer population. According to TWRA cougars, once they establish a home range, it can extend for up to 150 miles. It is illegal to hunt and kill cougars.