Is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) really restocking cougars in the area?

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. The New York State DEC hasn't been really been on a covert operation to place cougars in the mountains.

An article has gone viral about a 20-year covert operation to restock cougars in New York state.

After two decades of speculation and rumor, the NYS DE has unveiled its long-running successful covert restoration project of re-establishing the cougar or puma st the top predator in the woodlands of New York State.

The article claims a bounty placed on the animal drove it to extinction in New York State by 1930. And with the expanding popularity of other animals like deer, wild boar, feral cats, and woodchucks, "the time was right to bring back this beautiful part of New York's wildlife legacy."

The cougars were said to be imported from Pennsylvania with the help of Carol Bakin and they were dropped from fish-stocking helicopters in the Chenango and Madison County regions.

The story was posted recently on Facebook and has been shared over 675 times.

Here's the thing. It's not real. The Carol Bakin reference should have been your first clue. Dropping cougars from helicopters should have been the second. But the real clincher is the date at the bottom of the so-called press release.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

It's dated April 1, 2021. It's an April Fools Day prank that keeps on giving all year long.

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