Tahlequah Game Camera Captures Mysterious Animal
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma hunter captured images of a mysterious animal on his game camera this month.
Keith Cook owns 30 acres near Tahlequah. Over the years his game camera has recorded images of lots of different animals. It's recorded raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, chipmunks and of course lots of deer.
But on November 10 at 8:05 p.m. it recorded something Cook has never seen before.
The family believes it's possible it was a mountain lion.
The photos show a large animal with a long, thick neck and large head that would match those of a mountain lion. But there are some key differences, too. The animal in the images has legs that are much more slender than a mountain lion's. The tail is also significantly shorter than a big cat's.
In the past, the Oklahoma State Department of Wildlife Conservation has said while mountain lions do exist in Oklahoma, their numbers are very small, making confirmed sightings very rare.
As of 2014, there had been only 13 documented cases since 2004.
We sent the photos to Jerrod Davis, the furbearer biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
"It honestly looks like a coyote or a fox with mange," he wrote. "At first glance I thought bobcat but after a closer look some of the anatomy looks more canine than feline."
He said two of his colleagues also believe it to be some kind of canine with mange.