Updated: Thursday, 01 Jul 2010, 9:13 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010, 4:51 PM EDT
AVILLA, Ind. (WANE) - The Loch Ness Monster of northeast Indiana has been born after a picture is taken of what some believe is a cougar or mountain lion.
The picture was taken Tuesday morning by someone who lives in the 400 block of Old Bog Road in Avilla. The person took the picture through weeds across a field. In front of the tree line is a tan colored image which looks like an animal.
The image could be a dog or a deer, but many who live in the area near the tree line believe its a cougar. The photo was sent to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources . Biologists have analyzed the picture and preliminarily say the photo is inconclusive.
Connie Baker lives on Old Bog Road about 200 feet from where the alleged cougar was spotted. She showed NewsChannel 15 a number of paw prints in the soy bean field. She learned of the alleged sighting early Tuesday morning.
"I thought it was kind of scary, I was going to go out and mow like at nine in the morning, but I got a phone call and I didn't go out until like nine in the afternoon," said Connie Baker, she lives near the cougar sighting.
The DNR said cougars are fast moving creatures, and could make it to Indiana from states like North Dakota and South Dakota. Officials also said it could be someone's pet that escaped. If someone comes in contact with a mountain lion is it important to take extreme caution.
"Don't approach a mountain lion, don't run from a mountain lion. Stand and face the animal, make eye contact. If it comes in physical contact with you, fight back with sticks and stones and whatever you can find," said Phil Bloom, Department of Natural Resources Communications Director.
The DNR said there have been 53 alleged cougar sightings in Indiana since March. 44 of those were considered inconslusive, eight were deemed house pets, and one in Green County was declared a cougar.
The alleged Avilla sighting is still being analyzed by scientists, but there is a need for more evidence. If someone has new pictures or other pieces of evidence they can contact the DNR directly.
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