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Mountain Lions are back…

2:54 PM EST on November 4, 2015

oklahomamountainlion_tall paul

Every six months or so (usually during sweeps), Channel 4 or Channel 9 try to drum up some fear, ratings and web traffic by reporting that a mountain lion is on the loose in Central Oklahoma. They do this because mountain lions are shy, solitary, rarely-seen creatures that kill a few Americans each decade, therefore we should all be nervous, scared and on alert when going for a hike at Martin Nature Park.

After the news stations do this, I typically follow up a day or two later with my own write-up. This is so I can re-use that trail photo of Tall Paul nervously trying to sell a Mountain Lion an insurance policy, and, well, get some cheap web traffic.

Anyway, the newest mountain lion "sighting" that conveniently came out during sweeps was located near Tecumseh. I put "sighting" in quotes because it was probably just a bobcat or a drunk dude dressed as the cowardly lion for Halloween, but who cares, ratings!

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife is investigating several recent mountain lion sightings in Central Oklahoma. The agency has already confirmed one of those sightings to be true. Now, their biologists are looking into other photos sent in by landowners.

A couple near Tecumseh said they snapped a cell picture of a mountain lion, just feet from their backdoor. It was surprising, even for the man who investigates these sighting.

“It's kind of hard to believe that one would be that close to a house,” said Jerrod Davis, a furbearer biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife

Davis is also looking into other mountain lion pictures sent in from trail cameras in Tecumseh, Seminole and Luther. Davis said out of 20-50 reported sightings, usually only one turns out to be an actual mountain lion.

“A lot of misidentification with bobcats, feral cats, or domestic cats, dogs, pretty much anything and everything that could think of that would be misconstrued as being a mountain lion,” he explained.

Yep, just like how your grandmother thinks that every tall black man at the grocery store is a Thunder player, Oklahomans assume that any large animal spotted outside is a mountain lion. If you need proof, check out some of the Facebook comments that accompanied the News 9 story. Apparently everyone in Oklahoma has seen a mountain lion:

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It's a conspiracy, y'all! That Wildlife Department is secretly seeding our countryside with mountain lions, black panthers and nice wolves to control the deer and wild boar population. I bet they're also the ones behind the pandas, unicorns and leprechauns:


Sorry. I wanted to post those pics again, too.

Anyway, I guess if you see a mountain lion, cat or dog, send us a pic so we can say it's a mountain lion and get more web traffic. Thanks.

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