Editor’s note: The Hood County Sheriff’s Office received a statement from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Dec. 6, which stated:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is aware of this tragic loss of life and has provided assistance to the sheriff’s office in evaluating the circumstances and information available.
Texas Game Wardens, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists, and subject matter experts conducted an inspection of the scene. There is not any evidence of a predatory attack by a mountain lion at the location where the victim was found.
A Unites States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services trapper also evaluated the evidence and came to the same conclusion as our staff.
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. 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 recent confirmed sighing from Rowlett in Dallas County was nearly 100 miles away and is considered unrelated to this event.
HOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - An autopsy done on a man found dead in a wooded area of Hood County showed that he died as the result of a wild animal attack, possibly a mountain lion, according to the sheriff’s office there.
The victim has been identified as Christopher Allen Whiteley, 28, according to a post on the Hood County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. He was last seen alive in the early morning hours on Wednesday.
The Facebook post stated HCSO deputies went to the 15000 block of Howell Road in Lipan on a missing person call at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The deputies checked a nearby wooded area and eventually found Whiteley’s body, the Facebook post stated.
“Whiteley’s body was sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy,” the Facebook post stated. “The preliminary finds say he died from a wild animal attack, possibly a mountain lion.”
According to the Facebook post, the Hood County Sheriff’s Office has contacted a trapper with the U.S. Department of Agriculture who specializes in tracking and removing mountain lions.
“The Hood County Sheriff’s Office, Texas game wardens, and the governmental trapper are working on locating the mountain lion,” the Facebook post stated.
The post also urged people in the Lipan area to always be mindful of their surroundings and keep young children and animals inside at night.
“The safety of Hood County citizens are my priority one, but please don’t interfere with the process of locating the animal and stay clear of the area actively being worked by officials,” Sheriff Roger Deeds said in the Facebook post.