Big cat hunt on in Oak Harbor

Avatar BCR | May 21, 2010 1 View 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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OAK HARBOR, OHIO — Oak Harbor police are big game hunting in their village after residents of a retirement community reported seeing a large, tan animal that resembled a cat near their facility.

The animal was reportedly spotted in the area of Veterans Park near Finkey Road Thursday morning.

Dorris Rusincovitch, a resident of The Covenant Harbor Apartments first spotted the animal.  “I was sitting having my coffee and I happened to notice something moving,” she called her granddaughter, who was visiting to come to the window to take a look. 

She alerted Sue Perrin, manager at Covenant Harbor who also witnessed the animal moving north of the apartment building and into the woods.  Perrin called police and R.C. Waters Elementary School.  Recess at R.C. Waters in the village was canceled Thursday as a precaution while police hunt their quarry. 

Police Chief Steve Weirich says the spotting occurred sometime before school started.   “With all the kids walking to school starting around 8:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m. getting to school its hard to say where this animal would have been,” Chief Weirich.  The chief called the Ohio Division of Wildlife who sent someone out to assist in the search which turned up nothing unusual.  Two traps were put out where the animal was last seen wandering. 

Sarah Mountcastle, a resident of the retirement community says she and her dog Tess won’t be taking any long walks around the building.  She says the traps are not enough to reassure her.  “That trap is going to have to catch it and who knows if a trap is going to work or not,” Mountcastle. 

Chief Weirich says the traps will be checked regularly.  Until then there is no defiant answer on when outdoor recess at R.C. Waters will continue “we’ll have to evaluate that on a daily basis and see how many sightings we get,” Weirich. 

Police hope to the animal can be captured without harm and relocated to a facility which can provide the proper environment for it.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

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