Are mountain lions roaming the Ohio Valley? Social media posts are checked out

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) Pictures posted on Facebook recently showed mountain lions and claimed the pictures were taken in Belmont County.

But mountain lions are considered extinct in the eastern United States.

The commander of Belmont County’s Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team thought it was extremely unlikely that anyone’s trail camera was capturing images of real mountain lions in this area.

So Tom DeVaul tracked down the people who posted the pictures.

“One picture claimed to be taken around Shadyside but it wasn’t,” DeVaul noted. “That picture was from two or three years ago and it was not taken around here. There was another post on a St. Clairsville site of a mountain lion supposedly eating a rotisserie chicken, but that picture was taken in the western part of the United States.”

But he said bobcats are a different story.

DeVaul says it’s not unusual to see bobcats in Belmont County.

He says they have short stumpy tails, tufted facial hair and pointed ears.

He said they are much smaller than a mountain lion.

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