Another of Shoemaker's tales of the Lock Haven area in Clinton County was the account of a bizarre cat killed by the 'mountain man' Peter Pentz in 1798.
Shoemaker says that Pentz was visiting with Isaac Dougherty near McElhattan Run when they heard a commotion among Dougherty's animals. They found a steer dead, a large maned cat crouched over its body. Pentz and Dougherty tracked the animal up the side of Bald Eagle Mountain, eventually tracking it to a cavernous den in a 'bare place' (large rock-strewn clearings common to the area). Here, the two killed the maned cat and its mate, and captured three cubs.
Chad Arment points out that elsewhere in his writings (Extinct Pennsylvania Animals vol. 1) Shoemaker theorizes that Pentz's cat may have been "a modification of the prehistoric lions which Prof. Leidy called felis (sic) atrox". It is intriguing that such a similar idea to that espoused by Loren Coleman and Mark A. Hall was made over a half century before.
In the same passage he mentions that the Indians of Manhattan Island, New York, said that male cougar were maned. He also mentions later that the skin of a cougar killed along the Greenbrier River in West Virginia had a tail similar to that of an African lion.
In his original recounting of the tale, Shoemaker theorizes that the cat was an aberration of the normal cougar; it is perhaps possible that the genetic traits of Panthera atrox still exist in the genepool of the cougar accounting for lion-like attributes.
Recent studies have indicated that prehistoric lions including P. atrox lived until 13,000 years ago.