|WV RUMOR CAUSED QUITE A STIR|
Arizona DPS Officer Jason Ellico poses with a large mountain lion that Marshall and Barbara Rader's truck hit north of Williams, Arizona
A photo of a man and a giant mountain lion widely circulated regionally, reporting that the animal was killed between Grantsville and Walker (Road), Calhoun County, or in an area near Wood County, is pure fiction.
The widely circulated e-mail with the photo is "a bogus report, pure fiction" said DNR's Game Biologist J. R. Hill. Hill told the Herald that the report was received in his Parkersburg office last week.
The report circulated by word-of-mouth in Calhoun created a frenzy over the weekend, and e-mails were sent to the Herald numerous times, in addition to phone calls.
The reporting of the story received wide media attention, and resulted in one of the largest single-day number visitors to the Herald's web page.
The gigantic mountain lion that a truck hit in northern Arizona has become an Internet legend.
Blogs generally tell two different stories about the two photos of a man holding the lion, including a close-up of the huge paw, according to a Prescott, Arizona newspaper.
Various versions about the animal kill have since been spun across the Internet. The cat is also claimed to have been killed in Arkansas.
The Arizona paper reports, Marshall and Barbara Rader said that on a dark night in early December, they were driving north on Highway 64 about halfway between Williams and Valle when a huge cougar leapt in front of their Ford F350 truck.
"His head was at the right front headlight, and his tail was in the other lane," Marshall said, the animal was critically injured.
They called 9-1-1 for help, the dispatcher said they couldn't put the animal down. They had to wait for a Department of Public Safety officer to arrive.
"Fish and Game told us it's the biggest mountain lion they'd ever seen in this area," reported the Raders.