This borrowed photo was used in a Facebook hoax alleging that a mountain lion was killed near the Versailles State Park earlier this month.
(Versailles, Ind.) - Two recent reports of mountain lion sightings in southeast Indiana have been determined as hoaxes.
Last week, a person began sharing on Facebook a fake photo of a mountain lion allegedly struck and killed by a vehicle near the Versailles State Park this month. The photo used in the Facebook post was borrowed from a 2011 news release from the Florida Wildlife Commission.
The person who posted the photo claiming the sighting happened near Versailles has since seen their Facebook account deactivated.
“None of my officers in Southeastern Indiana are able to confirm that this photo was taken in Indiana. Conservation Officers do not drive any vehicles similar to that shown in the photo,” Conservation Officer Lt. Anthony Stoll, IDNR District 9, tells Eagle 99.3.
This week, a second reported sighting in western Shelby County near the appropriately named town of Bengal on October 10 was debunked, say Indiana DNR Conservation Officers.
There has been one confirmed report of a mountain lion in Indiana in recent years. One was spotted on a hunter’s trail camera in Greene County in 2010. The sighting was verified by conservation officers, although they were unable to determine if the mountain lion was wild or a former captive that had escaped.