2008-10-23 / Sports

Game Commission Releases Results Of Alleged Mountain Lion Attack

In announcing the current results of its ongoing investigation into an alleged mountain lion attack on Oct. 9, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials have announced that there is no evidence that the alleged attack on Samuel Fisher, 42, of Sadsbury Township, Lancaster County, occurred.

Game Commission officials were called to an area of Mount Pleasant Road, when Fisher alleged to have shot one large cat and then was attacked and injured by a second large cat.

A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter was brought into the area to search for the presence of the alleged animal using a FLIR Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera. Search dogs specifically trained to find and follow the trail of cats detected no cat activity in the area other than a small house cat.

Game Commission officers gathered numerous samples at the scene alleged to be blood. Those samples were sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab for testing. Samples collected from multiple sites at the incident, including the alleged blood trail, area where Fisher allegedly shot the animal and where Fisher allegedly fought with the animal, all tested negative for blood by the state police laboratory. While the chemical testing did indicate the presence of blood on the knife that Fisher allegedly used to stab the animal, the lab also found that the knife contained deer hair. The knife is being sent to East Stroudsburg University for further analysis of the blood in an effort to identify what type of blood it is.

Investigating officers found no evidence of mountain lion hair or scat or tracks at, around or in the vicinity of the alleged incident.

Charges may be filed against Fisher for making false or fraudulent statements.

"The Pennsylvania Game Commission has no evidence of wild, breeding populations of large cats in Pennsylvania to date," said Doug Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region director. "With that in mind, we do acknowledge that numerous people do have exotic animals which escape or are released illegally. While this incident is considered to be a hoax, we will continue to investigate credible sightings or evidence of exotic wildlife."

To reiterate his point, Killough noted that, in the past 10 years, confirmed sightings of wallabies, wolfhybrids, emus, alligators and other non-native exotic wildlife have been captured in the Southeast Region. Also, in 2002, charges were filed against a Dauphin County resident for illegal possession of a mountain lion that had been purchased in Virginia.

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