A cougar
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A cougar
The Sheriff's office of a county in Texas has said that a 28-year-old man who went missing last week was killed by a mountain lion, even as the wildlife officials said there was no evidence of such an attack.

Christopher Allen Whiteley was reported missing on Thursday after last being seen early Wednesday morning in Lipan, Texas, said the Sheriff's office of Hood County on Saturday.

The investigators found Whiteley's body in a wooded area of rural Texas, which was sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. The preliminary report blamed the death on a "wild animal attack, possibly a mountain lion."

However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department drew a contradictory conclusion and in a statement to the Sheriff's office said that experts who inspected the scene found no evidence of a "predatory attack by a mountain lion at the location where the victim was found."

There have been no confirmed fatal attacks by mountain lions in the state of Texas, according to the wildlife department.


"Fatal mountain lion attacks on people are extremely rare. In the past 100 years, there are fewer than 30 confirmed deaths due to mountain lion attacks nationwide," the wildlife agency said.

"Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has no records of a confirmed fatal attack on a person by a mountain lion in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife also has no confirmed records of a mountain lion from Hood County."

The wildlife department informed the Sheriff's office that a recent confirmed sighting of a mountain lion was about 100 miles away in Dallas County, and is "unrelated to this event."

Though the Sheriff's office acknowledged the conflicting report from the two agencies, backed the initial findings of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

"We stand behind the preliminary findings of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office, that rule out a suicide and a homicide on the death in question," said the Sheriff's office in a statement on Sunday.


However, it said that they will continue its investigation and will "gather pictures and statements from locals that have seen and capture on film images of mountain lions (sic)."