Loose wildcat caught in Suffolk. Now authorities are searching for its owner

The cat has been caught. Central Islip residents breathed a sigh of relief after an exotic wildcat was finally captured.

News 12 Staff

Jul 29, 2022, 8:57 AM

Updated 626 days ago

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The cat has been caught. Central Islip residents breathed a sigh of relief after an exotic wildcat was finally captured early this morning.
Acting on a tip, Suffolk police saw what is believed to be a Eurasian lynx in the front yard of a home around 3:30 a.m. Officers called in re-enforcements and were able to corral the cat before being able to snare and tranquilize it. Emergency service officers were able to get control of its head and rear legs. An officer then injected the animal with ketamine.
The cat was taken to Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown where they will determine its species for certain. It’s still not clear where the cat came from. State environmental police are investigating.
“To have a wildcat of any breed in New York state is illegal and that's why the [Department of Environmental Conservation] is involved and wants to know who the previous owner was,” says Capt. Tom Gadomski.
Neighbors told News 12 that they've seen the cat around and that it was living in someone's home. Suffolk SPCA investigators say they're now looking for a proper animal sanctuary home for the big cat, while also trying to find who let it escape.
“That part of the investigation is endangering the public with a wild animal, which is a crime,” SPCA Chief Roy Gross.
The owner could face up to a year in jail and a fine.
SPCA officials say they currently have an amnesty program in effect for anyone with an illegal exotic animal if they're turned in before police become involved.
Credit: Strong Island Animal Rescue
Credit: Strong Island Animal Rescue


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