New York State officials released in-depth details about an impressive investigation following reports of a mountain lion in New York.

Next to the jaguar, a cougar which is also known by common names including puma, mountain lion, catamount, and panther, is the largest North American cat, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to the DEC, mountain lions aren't typically seen in New York but there have been a few isolated sightings.

Was A Mountain Lion Spotted In Western New York?

On Thursday, the New York State DEC released information about an investigation into reports of a mountain lion that was allegedly caught on a trail cam in Western New York.

The results of the investigation are below:

Fact Check: Was a Mountain Lion Or Cougar Spotted In New York

Over the years, Hudson Valley Post has reported on alleged mounting lion sightings in or near the region.

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Mountain Lion Spotted In Halfmoon, Saratoga County, New York?

In June 2019, the Town of Halfmoon warned residents that other residents reported "sightings of a mountain lion." Halfmoon is located in the southern part of Saratoga County.

Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen later confirmed he told his staff to post the notice on Facebook after a number of residents reported seeing a large animal in their neighborhood. Another resident reported large paw prints.

Mountain Lion Seed Near Saranac Lake, New York?

Cici Marie LaPierre/Facebook
Cici Marie LaPierre/Facebook

A few months later, in October 2019, Cici Marie LaPierre posted a video on Facebook of an animal walking on Main Street, near the NAPA Auto Parts, in Saranac Lake.

In the video, you can hear a man wondering if the animal is a "mountain lion." A research expert later said the animal in the video is not a mountain lion.

Mountain Lion Spotted In Town of Esopus, Ulster County, New York?

Then in February 2020, a Facebook user said a mountain lion was caught on camera in the west park area in the Town of Esopus on Floyd Ackert Road.

Bob Coddington/FB
Bob Coddington/FB

Hudson Valley Post sent the photo, seen above, to the New York State DEC and they confirmed the animal is a mountain lion.

However, the DEC could not confirm the animal seen in the photo was really spotted in the region because the person who took the photo didn't contact the DEC so they couldn't investigate.

According to the DEC, mountain lions are not native to New York State and have been absent from the Empire State since the late 1800s. However, the DEC reports there have been isolated sightings that involved cougars that are not native to New York.


A couple of sightings involved captive mountain lions that escaped from licensed facilities in New York State. Another sighting involved a wild cougar that traveled from South Dakota to New York.

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