NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating a photo taken by a trail camera that appears to show a cougar on private land in Obion County about 190 miles away from Nashville.
Officials with the agency are having the photo analyzed by photography and graphics experts. At this time, the TWRA said it has been unable to recover any tracks, hair or other physical evidence.
The image was allegedly taken after 8 p.m. on Sept. 20. Authorities report that the image was incorrectly labeled Sept. 19.
Cougars are a protected species which cannot be hunted or killed until hunting or trapping season is established by the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, the governing body of the TWRA.
States with breeding populations of western mountain lions are Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas.
There have been documented sightings of cougars in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Kansas.
TWRA said a cougar sighting could easily be attributed to a transient young male or an illegal release of a captive animal.