Monday, December 15, 2008

Cougar Hoax

Yesterday I got an email from someone who was genuinely excited about a series of trail cam photos of cougars that were allegedly from Choctaw County, in southwest Alabama. He'd gotten them from his brother, who he thought had gotten them from the owner of the camera. A look at this map shows how significant that would be. I got a little excited about it myself, having long heard of unconfirmed sightings from this area. The region's low human population density, extensive timberlands, and high feral hog and white-tailed deer population would afford excellent cougar habitat, if they were there today. But I was not prepared to accept the photos as evidence until I could trace them with certaintly to the original source. There have been similar reports in the past that turned out to be hoaxes, like this one. Unfortunately, after doing some searching, I found this article that says the cats were photographed in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Further searching turned up the original series of photos from Outdoor Life magazine's website. Although I like to think there may be cougars in Alabama, I still have seen no evidence that will convince me. Bobcats are thriving here. Maybe someday their larger cousins will return, possibly from the west, now that the prey base is restored and they are no longer relentlessly persecuted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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