Mountain lion spotted near Luther?

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LUTHER, Okla. — Was a mountain lion spotted near the town of Luther?

One couple says they believe that’s the animal captured in a picture, sunning itself on top of a hay bale.

The picture was snapped by a nearby landowner in a field near the intersection of Indian Meridian and Sorghum Mill.

He showed the picture to Becky and Bill Tatum who were extremely concerned because they have a newborn foal, not even a day old.

“He showed me that picture and my immediate thought was ‘oh my goodness, it’s a mountain lion,’” said Becky Tatum.

“My immediate reaction was that it was absolutely a mountain lion,” said Bill Tatum.

The Tatums sent the picture to the Department of Wildlife Conservation. Officials there say the animal in the picture is a coyote.

“The eyes are narrow, the snout is long.  The coloration of the tip of the snout is not like a mountain lion,” said Information and Education Specialist, Todd Craighead.

Craighead says mountain lions in Oklahoma are rare. There have only been a handful of confirmed sightings since they started keeping records.

The Tatums are not convinced.

“A blonde coyote laying on top of a hay bale?  I was a little dubious,” said Becky Tatum.

We polled some others in the town of Arcadia to see what they thought.

Some thought it looked like a coyote, while others immediately said it was a mountain lion. Some even claimed that they have seen mountain lions in the area.

“Something like that really makes you sit up and take notice… a big cat,” said Bill Tatum.

The Tatums aren’t taking any chances with their livestock.

“We’ll keep them put up tonight up here close to keep them as close as possible, out of danger,” said Bill Tatum.

And they say they’ll be protecting their new foal from whatever animal is out there.

Department of Wildlife Conservation officials encourage people to send in pictures if they think they’ve spotted a mountain lion.

They say they will always take a look at them and respond to those pictures.

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