Have You Seen the Video of a Mountain Lion Walking Past a Reporter? Experts Say It’s Probably a Dog
Certain videos appear to resurface on the internet every few years, along with them comes misinformation. One such viral moment happened five years ago and included a local TV reporter in Salt Lake City, Utah. During a live shot on air, an animal strolls past her, setting the internet ablaze with shock at how she could be so calm while a mountain lion strolled by. It turns out it was probably just a dog.
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Here’s a look at the clip that you may have seen in the last few years, or maybe recently, as it’s once again shared with posts like “TV reporter mistakes mountain lion for a dog.”
After the incident, major nationwide news networks picked up the story and brought it to a massive audience, with headlines like “mountain lion walks past reporter.” However, shortly after the incident, Utah wildlife officials had a look and didn’t find any mountain lion tracks. They did find dog paws in the snow and said they were 99% certain it was a dog.
Five years later, the clip still follows Morgan Saxton, who is still an on-air personality in Utah. Saxton seems to have gotten used to the videos and debate, who posted just a week ago mentioning how the video is once again making rounds:
In the comments, Saxton says she did head right for the TV news crew’s live truck after the live shot because, even in person, it was hard to identify the animal.
Experts Weigh in on the “Mountain Lion” and Reporter Video
Outdoors.com sent the clip to Mark Elbroch, a mountain lion expert with Panthera, an organization focused on wild cat conservation. He says the animal’s coloration perfectly matches a cougar, but it seems to end there.
“Ears are too large and triangular. Tail too short and distinctly curved for the entire length—and static while moving rather than undulating,” wrote Elbroch. “Hard to say for sure, but at an early angle, I thought the legs looked too short for the length of the body as well. Domestic dog, in my opinion.”
Want to learn more about identifying cougars? Check out our full interview with Mark.