Couple Shocked to Find Leopard Attacking Home
In a quiet community in Indiana, homeowners sat on their roof one night watching to see what had been coming into their yard in the wee hours of the morning to eat their house-cats. The two got the surprise of their life when the target of their surveillance turned out to be a leopard.
The place was Charlestown, a rural community in Clark County, India near the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant. The problem: local residents found that their dogs and cats were coming up missing, injured, or found dead after a series of nighttime attacks. The solution: a graveyard shift volunteer stake out from the top of their house, armed with a gun if things got bad.
Well on Thursday June 20th, the lady of the house saw a long dark shadow pacing back and forth around their pool. The man of the house retrieved his gun and fired at the shadow, thinking it to be a bobcat. These 20-30 pound wild cats are common throughout the Eastern US, and often prey on small, easy critters.
After the shot went in and the animal went down, the flashlights and cameras came out and it turned out to be something altogether different. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources identified the animal as a 9-month old leopard. A big cat native to Asia and Africa, capable of racing up to 36 miles per hour and notorious for their stealthy attacks. According to Wiki , full-grown males can reach 200-pounds.
Definitely not something you typically run into in Indiana. Unfortunately, it's happening that these beautiful creatures are moving in, through no fault of their own.
Loose and Dangerous exotics
In a National Geographic report, it's believed that up to 15,000 exotic big cats including leopards, lions, tigers, and panthers are kept as pets and zoo/circus attractions throughout the US. It is legal, easy, and these animals can often be acquired from unlicensed dealers for as little as $400. In one instance, a 400-pound Bengal tiger was found living in an apartment in New York City, unknown to anyone but the renter.
Once these cats get larger, the bills start to add up and some private owners elect to turn their cats loose, allow them to escape, or sell them to even less prepared individuals who soon wind up over their head. In 2011 in Zanesville, Ohio, a local collector turned lose 56 animals before committing suicide. Police were forced to kill "18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, one baboon, two grizzly bears, three mountain lions, and two wolves" that were on the loose, scared, and hungry.
Besides the random and rather improbable of loose exotic predators in your neighborhood, the US is home to a very dangerous large cat that is capable of being a man-eater. Often called the American puma, mountain lion, panther, or catamount, the cougar (Puma concolor) is wide spread in Western States. Since 1890, no less than twenty people have been killed in cougar attacks in North America. While this is much less common than fatal lightning strikes or fatal snakebites, it is a valid threat to those who live in areas that are prone to mountain lion activity.
These large cats are stalk-and-kill ambush predators that can cause a lot of damage very fast. While hunting is keeping their numbers in check, these animals are expanding their range and have been killed as far east as Connecticut in recent years. Guided mountain lion hunt specialists like those at the Idaho Hunting Lodge in White Bird recommend .30-30 or .223.
Yet another reason to keep .223 on hand.