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Published by Dave Kile [Dave] on 11/01/2008 (2184 reads)
HARRISBURG - In announcing the most recent results of its ongoing investigation into an alleged mountain lion attack on Oct. 9, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced tests conducted on a knife allegedly used by Samuel Fisher, 42, of Sadsbury Township, Lancaster County, were positive for human blood. The tests were conducted by East Stroudsburg University in Monroe County. On Oct. 20, the Game Commission announced that tests conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab determined that samples collected from multiple sites the scene of the alleged attack tested negative for blood. Further tests are being conducted by the State Police Crime Lab to determine what the substance is.

Game Commission officials were called to an area of Mount Pleasant Road, when Fisher alleged to have shot one large cat and then was attacked and injured by a second large cat on Oct. 9.

A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter was brought into the area to search for the presence of the alleged animal using a FLIR Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera. Search dogs specifically trained to find and follow the trail of cats detected no cat activity in the area other than a small house cat.

Game Commission officers gathered numerous samples at the scene alleged to be blood. Samples collected from multiple sites at the incident, including the alleged blood trail, area where Fisher allegedly shot the animal and where Fisher allegedly fought with the animal, all tested negative for blood by the State Police laboratory. At that time, chemical testing by the State Police Crime Lab did indicate the presence of blood on the knife that Fisher allegedly used to stab the animal, however, the lab also found that the knife contained deer hair.

Investigating officers announced that they found no evidence of mountain lion hair or scat or tracks at, around or in the vicinity of the alleged incident. The shirt that Fisher was wearing during the alleged attack contained no blood or any signs of dirt from a struggle with an animal on the ground.

Charges may be filed against Fisher for making false or fraudulent statements.

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission has no evidence of wild, breeding populations of large cats in Pennsylvania to date,” said Doug Killough, Game Commission Southeast Region director. “With that in mind, we do acknowledge that numerous people do have exotic animals which escape or are released illegally. While this incident is considered to be a hoax, we will continue to investigate credible sightings or evidence of exotic wildlife.”

To reiterate his point, Killough noted that, in the past 10 years, confirmed sightings of wallabies, wolf-hybrids, emus, alligators and other non-native exotic wildlife have been captured in the Southeast Region. Also, in 2002, charges were filed against a Dauphin County resident for illegal possession of a mountain lion that had been purchased in Virginia.
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