A photo currently circulating online of a mountain lion supposedly dragging a whitetail buck in front of a wildlife feeder in Kansas was taken by a trail camera in another state.
Mark Dowling, of the Cougar Network and Matt Peek, of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, verified the shot is part of what’s become a wide-ranging hoax.
Several people recently forwarded the photo to The Eagle and Wildlife and Parks, claiming it was recently taken near Wellington or Pittsburg.
Some online searching shows the photo has been attributed to at least ten other states.
Dowling said it’s been circulating for quite a while and originally came from Texas.
Last week Wildlife and Parks released a confirmed photograph of a live mountain lion in northwest Kansas. The photo was taken by a bowhunter in a treestand and verified by Wildlife and Parks biologists.
In 2007 a mountain lion was killed by a landowner near Medicine Lodge. Those are the only two verified wild Kansas mountain lions in more than 100 years despite many undocumented reports.
Several other online hoaxes containing photos of mountain lions supposedly taken in Kansas have surfaced in recent years.
Last winter a photo of a dead mountain lion with a paw being held-up was widely circulated as being hit by a car near Ottawa. The online story said it tried to get wildlife officials who came to euthanize the injured animal. That mountain lion was actually a road-kill from northern Arizona.
Several years ago a photo made the online rounds of a man holding the body of a huge mountain lion in a garage. The story with the hoax said the cat had been shot while chasing cattle near Leon. The mountain lion was actually shot by a hunter while calling coyotes in Washington.
Another common hoax was of a an adult female mountain lion and two partially-grown cubs feeding on a deer carcass. The hoax claimed the trail camera photo was from Sumner County. The photo was really taken in South Dakota.
Photos of the Arizona,Washington and South Dakota mountain lions were widely circulated and were reportedly killed or photographed in at least a dozen other states.