Two Trigg County retirees didn’t know their e-mail hoax about a mountain lion would get so much attention.

Bill Shaeffer, 73, and Frank Womack, 76, both of Cadiz, sent out an e-mail last week claiming they had helped a state fish and wildlife officer capture a mountain lion on Kentucky 274 at Parkview Shores Drive.

The e-mail included two photos of a man posing with a dead mountain lion. In one photo, the huge animal’s front paw appears to be as big as a dinner plate

“It was a hoax,” said Shaffer today. “We got the picture from an e-mail that was sent to us.”

He said that he has received 75 calls about the e-mail that was originally sent to a couple of his neighbors.

“We just wanted to have some fun,” Womack said. “And it ended up everywhere.”

He said that the photos were taken in West Virginia.

“I wish that we hadn’t of done it,” Shaffer said. “I think that we know better now.”

Taxidermist Mark Thomas, owner of Wildlife Creations on Pilot Rock Road, said that he saw the e-mail and knew that it was a hoax.

“In the area of Cadiz there are only panthers or cougars,” Thomas said.

But in Western Kentucky, there are no mountains and mountain lions.

MELANIE GEORGE can be reached at 887-3240 or by e-mail at

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