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In Illinois, yet again, a cougar was wrongly blamed for an alleged attack on a human, in this case a 14-year-old deer hunter.  As usual, the media seized on the story, feeding paranoia and fear.   Two days later, the young boy even displayed scratches on his face that he said proved it was a cougar that attacked him.  To everyone else the scratches looked no worse than what one would receive falling in a bush!  Six days later, the boy admitted that indeed they were scratches he got from bushes when he fell out of his tree stand.  It is sad that the boy was afraid enough of his parents retribution that he felt compelled to blame a cougar for his clumsiness.  However, the worse of it all is that by the time he admitted his false allegation, the damage had been done.  For many, the initial accusation was all they care to heard, in their mind it COULD have happened, and the fear and paranoia continues.  This boy, because of his fear of his parents, did more harm in one false statement than can be rectified by months of calm, sane discussions of cougars and the overwhelming data that cougars are one of the least threats people face, especially those going into woods.  In fact, this boy is not alone. In 2008, 30 hunters in Illinois fell from trees, 5 of them died.  Falling from deer stands is listed as the highest rate of injury among hunters.  So hunters, the next time you fall from your tree, don’t blame cougars!

http://www.whig.com/story/news/Mountain-lion-hoax-101211

whig.com

Pike County teenager admits that report of mountain lion attack was a hoax

By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Writer

October 12, 2011

After hearing a 14-year-old Pike County boy had been attacked by a mountain lion while deer hunting, Tim Brewer bought a handgun as a precautionary measure.

 

Read more….

 

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You will find a photo of the boy’s scratched cheek in this article.

 

http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2011/oct/05/claw-marks-prove-mountain-lion-attacked-me-teen-sa-ar-772197/

nbc4i.com

Claw Marks Prove Mountain Lion Attacked Me, Teen Says

By: NBC News Channel
Published: October 05, 2011

PIKE COUNTY, Ill. — A 14-year-old boy from Pike County, Ill., says a mountain lion attacked him over the past weekend.
The teen has scratch marks he said prove his wild encounter with a mountain lion.
Read more…
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Here is the boy’s story in detail:

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x824876214/Mountain-lion-thought-to-have-attacked-teenage-deer-hunter

State Journal-Register – Springfield, IL

Mountain lion thought to have attacked teenage deer hunter

By CHRIS YOUNG (chris.young@sj-r.com)

The State Journal-Register

Posted Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:00 PM

BAYLIS — A 14-year-old deer hunter said he was attacked by a mountain lion Sunday evening, just a minute’s walk from his family’s Pike County home.
Read more…

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