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http://www.salemnews.net/page/content.detail/id/521874.html?nav=5007
salemnews.net

State game officer doesn’t believe Salem mountain lion story true

The story of a mountain lion killed behind the Saxon Club on Friday looks like an Internet hoax.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources District 3 (Columbiana County) Officer Scott Angelo said Thursday, “I have no knowledge of that. I don’t believe there’s any truth to that.”

Salem Humane Officer Sue Davidson was of the same mind and said so on Wednesday.

She first heard the story on Sunday except that it was on Hoopes Road.

Angelo said he saw the picture and it was circulating the Internet.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there’s any truth to it,” he said.

The Salem News Virtual Newsroom received a message early Wednesday night asking, “Why has the shooting of a 160-170 lb. female mountain lion last Friday near the Saxon Club not been publicized?”

A photo was sent along showing good-sized cat on the tailgate of a pickup that also had two dog cages in the truck bed. The truck is sitting on a snow-covered drive.

The Salem man who submitted the information said he got it from a person who worked with the person who supposedly shot and killed the mountain lion.

“I don’t know the man,” he said, adding it was killed “a half-mile behind the Saxon Club.”

He added that the game warden took the carcass for testing to see if it was “domestic or lactating.”

Mountain lions are on the United States Endangered Species list.

He also said the person who shot it could not be contacted Wednesday night, but he would try to obtain a contact number for him on Thursday, but did not.

Davidson said she also saw the photo.

“It makes me think this is a hoax,” she said.

Angelo said he had not talked to anyone who has come forward with information in Columbiana County.

“It was killed somewhere and they had a picture circulated around the Internet that can’t be verified,” he said.

The Hoaxslayer.com Web site describes an e-mail hoax regarding a mountain lion supposedly shot in Kansas saying, “This guy is a friend of one of the guys who works with my friend.”

Apparently the mountain lion-themed hoax is popular owing to the distinct rarity of the animals.

In North Carolina, the wildlife commission began a Sept. 25, 2009 public service press release saying, “The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is warning the public that a photograph of a mountain lion purported to be taken in western North Carolina is actually from Texas.”

It goes on to state, “It is one of several mountain lion hoaxes that have circulated through several states in the past few weeks, and the e-mails in each state claim that the photograph was taken locally.

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