Search on for released zoo bobcat

Date: 08-22-2006
Author: Lance Anderson

Peterborough, Ontario – For the second time in a year, the search is on for a bobcat released from Peterborough’s Riverview Zoo.

Zoo staff discovered the cat’s cage open Sunday morning, sparking an extensive search of the grounds. That search turned up no clues as to the feline’s whereabouts.

The bobcat is not considered a threat to public safety. Wayne Stiver of the Peterborough Utilities Commission says the female bobcat, about 50 per cent larger than a domesticated cat, will most likely feed on rodents. He adds other cats in the city are not at risk.

“Our concern is for the safety of the animal,” says Mr. Stiver.

He says the bobcat escaped after bolts were removed from the hinge side of its cage. That’s exactly how a bobcat was released in September 2005, says Mr. Stiver.

“It was the same mode of release but we captured it on zoo property by the waterfront,” he adds.

The problem this time is that vegetation is thick around the zoo and it’s hard to see where the bobcat could be hiding, says Mr. Stiver.

He’s not sure of the suspect’s motive in releasing the animal. He says the bobcat is not native to this region and is at risk.

The Peterborough Utilities Commission is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the bobcat’s release.

If anyone spots the bobcat, they’re urged to call city police at 876-1122.

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