As we've pointed out many times over the years, the Oklahoma media has a weird, semi-unhealthy obsession with mountain lions.
Even though sightings of the wild beasts aren't that uncommon, and Oklahoma wildlife officials acknowledge that some wayward cougars make their way through the state, whenever one shows up on trail cam footage or crosses a road in Beaver, it becomes an all-hands-on-deck news event, with reporters, producers and social media bandits all purring after photos and video footage to delight viewer clicks and eyeballs.
In fact, the obsession with mountain lions has become so severe that people can now provide footage of an animal that's not technically a mountain lion and still get the station to come out and file a report on a mountain lion sighting.
Well, kind of...
Check out this amazing KFOR news report from Brent "Cougar Slayer" Skarky.
First of all, I like how the wildlife department is like "No, that's not a mountain lion and here's why" and the lady from the story is like "No, I think it's still a mountain lion." I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I speculate she also doesn't trust the thoughts of experts when it comes to the effectiveness of vaccines and facemasks during a global pandemic.
Also, Brent totally ignored the juicer lede. Did you catch the final line from the story?
“This is a case of bobcat trying to get in a chicken coop,” said Holmes.Holmes says a team of biologist confirms the black markings on its paws and tail are consistent with a bobcats. He says the lack of a visible white underbelly also means it’s not a puma.“This is a case of bobcat trying to get in a chicken coop,” said Holmes...Johnson says she disagrees, she thinks it’s a mountain lion.But she knows bobcats can be dangerous. She says they have recently taken two of her four chihuahua dogs.
Uhm, what is Skarky doing!? The only thing the Oklahoma City TV news media and their viewers love more than a good mountain lion sighting is a story about animal cruelty and neglect! "Bobcats devour Choctaw woman's chihuahua dogs" will get way more clicks than any story about trail cam footage of a mountain lion that's a bobcat. Has the anchor desk softened him up???
That being, I'm not going to be too critical here. Brent Skarky loves the OKC Zoo more than anything, and going with this misleading story did score him a free visit. I'd much rather go there than animal control. In fact, as a token of goodwill, I think I'm going to call KFOR and say I have footage of a shark that's actually just a catfish swimming in a koi pond so Brent will have an excuse to drive up to Tulsa and get footage at the Oklahoma aquarium. It's my way to pay it 4ward.
Anyway, I guess I should wrap up this story and get my shark catfish koi pond pitch ready. You can check out our guide on what to do if you spot an Oklahoma mountain lion here. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.