Flyers about mountain lions in Virginia are 'fake news'

Updated: Oct. 3, 2017 at 7:54 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has a message for anyone who sees flyers about mountain lions: "This is FAKE NEWS!"

"We have no reports of them," VDGIF posted on Facebook this week.

Officials say that mountain lions existed statewide at the time of European settlement, but were gone by the 1880s.

A blog post from VDGIF says the last mountain lion in Virginia was killed in 1882.

VDGIF says it receives about three or four sightings of "large cats a month", but "to date, none of these reports have been substantiated by a photo, carcass or track. When we reviewed these reports, as many as 25 percent are of a large black cat."

"Those few instances where the information appears credible, investigation by staff has always confirmed the animal to be a bobcat, black bear, domestic cat or dog."

Click here to read more about the myth of mountain lions in Virginia.

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