WILKINSBURG, Pa. — There’ve been whispers of a mountain lion roaming in east Pittsburgh.
Four times in one week, people claimed to have seen one in East Hills and Wilkinsburg.
In the past week, four people said they saw the cat, but no one had visual proof of it.
The cat was caught walking on WTAE’s studio’s front lawn in Wilkinsburg on Wednesday, and a Channel 4 Action News photographer was able to catch the cat on film.
“I seen it with my own eyes,” Wilkinsburg resident James Davis said. “I thought it was a mountain lion, but it was a big cat with a long tail, but it was beige with a whitish tint on it.”
Channel 4 Action News reporter Jon Greiner showed Davis the footage of a big cat, and Davis said it looked like a match.
“That’s the same thing we seen,” Davis said.
It also matches a description from three others who said they’ve seen the same thing.
Henry Kacprzyk, a curator at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, looked at the tape and said the head looks too big and the tail looks too small to be a mountain lion.
“Based on, again, looking at the size, the shape, I don’t necessarily think it’s a mountain lion,” Kacprzyk said. “My guess is, if it was going to be a wild cat, I’d think it’d be something that you wouldn’t find around here, like a lynx.”
Lynxes are similar in size to bobcats, Kacprzyk said, and they usually weigh about 30 to 60 pounds and are powerful enough to take down a deer.
Greiner, using a measuring board to estimate the size of the animal, said that the cat was 4 feet tall.
Whatever it is, it has residents of East Hills talking and concerned for their safety.
“Well, I did see it, and I hope everybody (watches) their backs — that’s all I can tell you,” Davis said.
Kacprzyk said this may be a cat that someone kept as a pet and got loose.
He said if anyone comes across it they should act as big and as loud as possible to try to scare it.
Kacprzyk said that a person should not run away from the cat, though, because large cats are predators and it might chase something running from it.
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