And by “mystery cat” we mean Mountain Lion. Apparently several large, grey cats described as panthers have been spotted in the area. Authorities are baffled!
Sightings of a “panther-like animal” and a mysterious set of tracks just a mile and a half from East Hampton have local police and state wildlife agents on the hunt for a possible big game cat on Long Island.
East Hampton Police were called to a farm on Spring Close Road around noon Sunday after a resident claimed to have spotted a large panther-like creature, according to Bill Fonda, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Long Island office.
Described as a grayish, cat-like creature with a long striped tail, the mysterious animal was initially reported to be found eating compost and meat scraps at the farm. Soon after the five-foot long and two-foot high animal was spotted, the creature reportedly dove out of sight into the nearby brush.
Upon further investigation, the DEC officers lost the trail of the two-and-a-half-inch paw tracks, and were unable to find any other evidence of a large cat.
Conservation officers conducted a search of the property and surrounding woods and found a set of large paw prints measuring about two and a half inches. They eventually lost the trail, and were unable to find any other evidence of a large cat.
“Cats, even large cats, all have retractable claws,” said Fonda, so cats typically don’t leave claw marks when they walk.
“The prints we found all left claw marks,” he said. “It couldn’t have been a cat.”
Oy vey! Conservation officers in New York state apparently think that a farm with meat scraps around will only have one set of tracks to follow. It’s not like multiple animals would take advantage of the free meal, right?
I’m going out on a limb on this one and saying that if you have a credible report of a five foot long, two foot high panther-like creature you can throw caution to the wind and call it a Cougar sighting.
h/t Mystery Cats