‘The one that got away’
To further muddy the waters, forwarded emails featuring phony photographs of cougars are circulated, including a recent photo of a cougar stalking a deer. Upon closer inspection, the deer in the picture is a dark-tailed Western species, not our native white tail. The DEC also dismisses rumors that claim the agency itself has released cougars to the wild in New York State, but it does acknowledge that a few captive cougars have escaped to the wild in recent years.
The DEC recommends that anyone who thinks they have seen a mountain lion do their best to get a photo or video of the animal and check for tracks or other signs of the animal’s presence. The Cougar Network at www.
Cougarnet.org/ also tracks reliable cougar sightings outside their recognized range.