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Posts Tagged ‘Indiana leopard’

Indiana leopard

Yes. Indiana, not India.

ABC News reports:

An Indiana woman trying to protect her cats from wild animal attacks was stunned to discover that the animal she and her boyfriend shot, thinking it was a bobcat prowling in her backyard, was actually a leopard, and now authorities are trying to determine how it got there.

Officials at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed that a leopard, which is not native to North America — let alone Indiana — was found at the woman’s residence in Charlestown. The DNR is investigating where the animal might have come from.

Donna Duke, a friend and neighbor of the woman who found the leopard, told ABC affiliate WDRB-TV in Louisville, Ky., that the woman had been concerned about her cats after a spate of attacks on pets in her area..

“She’s got cats that are basically her family,” Duke told WCRB.

According to Duke, the woman and her boyfriend stayed up all night Thursday to determine whether there was a bobcat loose in their area. When they saw the big cat in the woods at the edge of her property, the woman’s boyfriend shot and killed the animal before it could get any closer, not realizing it was a leopard.

Residents of Indiana are allowed to own exotic large cats but they must have a permit. The owner of a local wildlife refuge center located near the woman’s home told WDRB-TV that none of his animals were missing.

Wow.

There are Alien Big Cats out there, but to prove their existence, we need a body. These bodies are strangely lacking in the UK, where there is a strong cultural tradition of big black cats. Americans own lots of inappropriate wildlife. Many states, including Indiana, really don’t regulate the ownership of these animals.

After all, Indiana and most other states like it assume that their citizens have some common sense!

I don’t think there is a freely breeding population of leopards in Indiana or Kentucky, but it is possible that an escapee can last a while out in the bush.

And long-time readers of the blog know that I once made a comparison between letting pet cats wander and turning out a leopard into a neighborhood.

When this actually happened, you can see what the reaction was.

The leopard wound up dead.

There is now a lot of discussion in many states and at the federal level about how to regulate private ownership of big cats.

Some people want it banned entirely– which I think sounds good in theory.

But there are so many privately owned big cats in America that it is going to be next to impossible to regulate anything.

A ban will work about as well as a ban on marijuana or booze.

It could actually make things worse.

People could start turning their animals out into the wild, or moving so far back into remote areas with them that the cats never see a veterinarian and get proper care or housing.

What we need is an effective regulatory regime.

I don’t know why people want to own animals like leopards. but they do.

And maybe the best course of action is to find commonsense regulations on their ownership.

At very least, there should be prison time for anyone who intentionally releases one of these animals into wild.

These animals deserve so much better, but we need to think it through.

Good intentions can occasionally bring about very negative unforeseen consequences.

I don’t the North America needs a population of freely breeding leopards running around.

But we could get it if we don’t carefully consider how we are going to regulate their ownership.

Some might doubt whether these animals could survive long enough in the wild to become proficient hunters of deer, but the truth is this one was hunting house pets– much easier prey.

It’s very sad that this poor leopard lost its life. When it is fully examined, my guess is that they will find that it only recently escaped or was released from the wild.

It’s a strange animal to keep as a pet.

But people have always tried to tame the big Carnivorans.

We managed to domesticate only one.

So far…

And some people just won’t give up, no matter how many dogs and cats and kids get killed.

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