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April 28, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
Have you seen photos like the one at right, claiming to depict a mountain lion on someone's patio in Broadalbin? An e-mail message containing these photos seems to be on the prowl.
Ward Stone, the top wildlife expert with the DEC, will discuss these cougar "sightings" on his environmental radio program at 8:30 p.m. today on WAMC (93.3 FM around here).
But let me beat him to the punch: these photos were not taken in Broadalbin. They probably also weren't taken in Fort Dodge, Iowa; Moose Lake, Wisc.; or Simsbury, Conn., either -- all places where the same e-mail has circulated, according to www.snopes.com.
If you haven't heard of Snopes, you should check it out. Anytime somebody sends me a forwarded e-mail message (i.e., one for mass distribution and of dubious origin), I either delete it immediately or check it out on Snopes.
If you want to read Snopes' piece debunking the "puma panic," click on this link:
But who's to say there couldn't be a cougar roaming around in Broadalbin? We just had moose on the loose in Gloversville and Fonda last year. My grandfather used to swear he knew a guy who ran over a timber wolf with his pickup in Caroga Lake back in the 60s, decades after the species was thought to have been hunted to extinction in the Adirondacks. What's next? Kangaroos on Kingsboro Avenue?
With my luck, I'll get mauled by a mountain lion on my way home from work tonight -- nobody likes a skeptic.
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Nice kitty! (But not from Broadalbin.)