An Indiana leopard killed in Charlestown on Thursday has left behind a mystery. A woman who wished to remain anonymous apparently became concerned because a growing number of dogs and cats had recently been attacked in the area.
A friend named Donna Duke, who didn’t reveal the name of the woman who killed the Indiana leopard, told local news station WDRB that the woman considered her own cats “basically her family.” As a result, she contacted a local wildlife official, who speculated that the attacks were being committed by a bobcat.
“She was trying to protect her babies,” Duke stressed.
So the woman went hunting. A boyfriend, also unnamed, helped the woman stake out her backyard.
However, the big cat that entered her yard was clearly not a bobcat. She was startled to discover that the dangerous predator they killed was actually a leopard.
Now Indiana wildlife authorities are working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to determine who owned the wandering animal. Leopards are not, of course, native to North America.
While it’s legal to keep big exotic cats in Indiana, the owner must have a permit.
An Indiana tiger was also in the news this week, as the result of an attack on a worker in a wildlife rescue center. The Feline Rescue Center is licensed by the US Department of Agriculture, which will be investigating what went wrong in the incident. The tiger had the worker’s head in its mouth at one point before the woman was rescued and airlifted to a hospital.
ABC News noted that the officials had already checked at a local wildlife refuge center, but the owner said that he hasn’t lost any animals.
People should phone the Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at (812)837-9536 if they have any information about the Indiana leopard.
[wild leopard in Kenya photo by Elaine Radford]