More panther sightings|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|06/17/04 at 16:11:31|richard_f|xx|0|81.154.199.140|From the Port Clinton (OH) News Herald:
More panther sightings
RICK NEALE
June 16, 2004

DANBURY TOWNSHIP -- A black panther appears to be roaming southern Danbury Township, leaving paw prints and triggering sightings Tuesday night and early this morning, police reported.

If reports from multiple witnesses are to be believed, the puma was wandering for miles in the darkness along the Bayshore Road corridor in an easterly direction. Danbury Township Police Chief Mike Meisler said he planned to contact Ohio Division of Wildlife officials today to investigate -- and possibly trap -- the large animal.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, a man in the 5400 block of Bayshore Road discovered large muddy cat paw prints on his garage apron. Meisler said the man, whose identity was unavailable this morning, told police his dog had been acting differently the past several nights.

That home is located just east of Ohio 269.

About 12:30 a.m., Joleen Gracemyer told police she almost crashed into the panther while driving home from work on Bayshore Road near the old Lattimore trailer park.

"The animal looked like it was eating something in the road," Gracemyer said. "He had his head down and he looked up at me. He had this tail, and it was long and fat and curled at the end. I thought, 'Oh my god, that isn't a dog.'"

The panther was spotted again by Gracemyer's fiancÈ less than two hours later.

Derek Chambers of 9907 Bayshore Road told police that he heard his dog, Kahlua, a boxer-Labrador mix, growling at something outside through a picture window. He flipped on an exterior light -- and saw the large cat near a creek in his yard. The creature walked across the road and ambled toward Sandusky Bay, Meisler said.

"That guy was adamant it resembled a black panther," Meisler said.

The Chambers residence is located between Bayview Drive and Seneca Trail.

Last month, a Portage Township resident logged a black panther sighting on East Harbor Road in a marshy area behind Fisherman's Inn. That witness, Donald Nason, said he saw the beast in broad daylight, lying in an alley about 60 feet behind his trailer while his golden Labrador was barking wildly.

Nason estimated the wildcat weighed close to 50 pounds, was jet black in color, and had pointed ears that stuck straight up from its furry head.

Meisler said anyone who sees the black panther should immediately alert the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office at 419-734-4404. Thus far, he said the unidentified animal does not appear to pose a safety threat.

"It appears to be scared more than anything. It doesn't appear to be aggressive," the chief said.

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