Cougar on loose after escaping Indiana rescue center

Jan 8, 2007 05:52 AM EST

Center Point – Wildlife officials are trying to recapture an 80-pound cougar that has escaped its pen at a rescue center west of Indianapolis.

The eight- or nine-year-old female wildcat escaped the Exotic Feline Rescue Center about 50 miles west of Indianapolis on Friday. State conservation officer Max Winchell says it’s believed to still be on the grounds of the preserve because the remains of two dead raccoons have been found.

The cougar scaled a 14-foot high fence to get out of its pen. The preserve holds a federal permit to houses its nearly 200 exotic cats.

A retired employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to track and tranquilize the cougar, but so far has not been successful.

Police have asked the public not to go to the area to attempt to view or locate the animal.

http://www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?S=5902969

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