W’burg cougar sighting can’t be verified, state officials say
After reports of a cougar sighting in Williamsburg, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife have confirmed that the species of the animal spotted cannot be verified.
Tom Land, conservation officer for Kentucky Department of fish and wildlife in Whitley County, said that no tracks nor livestock and pets have been reported as killed by the animal.
No 911 calls were reported or calls to fire dispatch, according to Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison.
Only one picture of the alleged “cougar” has surfaced, but the animal cannot be confirmed.
If the animal was a cougar, it would have been brought to Kentucky in captivity illegally, said Land.
Cougars are not native to Kentucky anymore, according to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website. The nearest reproducing population is nearly 900 miles away in Nebraska.
Cougars are not protected species in Kentucky and can be killed if they are spotted. If individuals choose to eliminate a cougar, they should call fish and wildlife to report the sighting so the origin of the animal can be determined.