Mountain Lion On The Loose?|jon_downes|jon@cfz.org.uk|10/20/03 at 12:47:53|JON_DOWNES|xx|0|217.42.205.224|From KYW-TV Channel 3 (Philadelphia)

Mountain Lion On The Loose?
Oct 15, 2003 6:00 pm US/Eastern

NORTHAMPTON TWP. Pa. (KYW) Area police officers are usually rounding up bad
guys but in several areas, they're searching for wild animals roaming the
streets.

In New Castle County, Delaware, residents have reported seeing a cougar. And
in Hamilton, Atlantic County, it's an emu they're after.

Meanwhile in Bucks County, CBS 3's Valerie Levesque reports it's another
mystery animal that is reportedly on the prowl.

The most recent sighting was on Tuesday in Northampton Township. On
Wednesday afternoon, police were searching for anything that will confirm
that a mountain lion or cougar is on the loose.

Police hope that because of Tuesday's rains, the softened ground could
provide some paw prints.

"There is something out there, I'm positive of that. One person calls, it
could be a mistake but three people have described this as a tan or brown
cat-like animal, so there is something out there," said Lt. Neil Clark.

There have been three sightings in the last week and a half, less than a
mile away from each other. The sightings were on residential streets that
border Tyler State Park.

Police say the animal has been described as tan, 175 pounds, 30 inches high
and four feet long. Police say that based on that information, it would look
similar a mountain lion but those cats no longer exist in Pennsylvania.

Police say the animal could have been someone's exotic pet, turned loose
when it grew too big.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has checked with people who have exotic
animal permits but there are no missing large cats like this.

There were sightings last month in Bensalem of a large cat. Police say they
are asking people that see this animal -- without getting in harms way -- to
take a picture of it so that they have a better idea of what they are
dealing with.




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