A so-called Detroit big cat mystery is shaking up the city. The Michigan Humane Society is now investigating grainy cell phone photos and eyewitness complaints about a huge cat supposedly stalking the streets of a northeast Detroit neighborhood.
Oh, there’s definitely something out there bigger than a housecat. According to a small photo obtained by the Detroit Free Press, there’s a big-eared, long-tailed feline on the loose.
However, some of the eyewitness descriptions verge on the unbelievable.
Antwaun Asberry, a six-foot-five Detroit resident, said: “His tail is longer than my arm…I don’t know what it is. I just want it gone.”
He claimed the mystery beast was four feet tall. Another area resident said it made his 12-year-old run home screaming.
Maybe so. Then again maybe not.
With Detroit going broke, neither the police nor animal control has responded to the complaints. However, MHS said that they’ll take the investigation very seriously.
One expert speculated to My Fox Detroit that the big cat was actually a savannah cat — a mix between a regular housecat and a African wildcat called a serval. It’s considered the largest domestic species of cat.
Male savannah cats can weigh up to 20 pounds. It hardly seems like something that would send six-foot-plus Detroiters screaming in terror, but what do I know?
It’s a decent guess. And it may turn out to be the right answer to the Detroit big cat mystery.
But I’m not sure the photos we’ve seen so far are enough to confirm that Detroit is running in terror from a big wildcat that isn’t that big and isn’t even wild.
Here’s a tweet that includes the alleged Detroit big cat:
— Smokeydogg (@Smokeydogg7) August 25, 2013
Here’s a savannah cat:
Hmm. It might be worth looking further.
Because Asberry talked about the super-long tail, I immediately thought of the margay, a true exotic wildcat from the tropical Americas known for its exceptionally long tail.
You can see a margay in the top photo.
Its relative, the ocelot, is probably another possibility.
But it’s probable that we won’t know what the Detroit big cat really is until or if the humane officers actually catch it.
[margay top photo by worldswildlifewonders via Shutterstock]