Indiana Couple Shoots Leopard in Their Yard

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Indiana Couple Shoots Leopard in Their Yard

Posted 2013-06-24T22:12:00Z  by  Stephanie Mallory

Indiana Couple Shoots Leopard in Their Yard

Two Indiana residents thought they'd shot a bobcat that'd been attacking dogs and cats in the area. But, when they approached the dead animal, they got a huge shock. The downed feline had spots all right, but they were a leopard's spots.

Last week, Kentucky resident Donna Duke, contacted WDRB News claiming she had photographs of a leopard that was shot at a home on State Road 3, just outside of Charlestown in Clark County, Ind.

Duke told WERB News her friend, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, lives in an area where numbers of cats and dogs had been recently attacked. The woman was worried about her cats' safety.

Duke's friend contacted a local wildlife official, who told her a bobcat might be attacking the animals and to keep a sharp eye out for bobcats at night. So, the woman and her boyfriend took turns watching the area from the roof every night.

Late Thursday night or early Friday morning, the woman was outside near her pool, when she saw a dark shadow pacing back and forth nearby. Her boyfriend then grabbed a gun and shot it. When the couple followed the dying animal's horrible squeal, they discovered it was actually a leopard.

They immediately contacted an Indiana Department of Natural Resources officer who transported the body to Indianapolis for analysis.

The leopard was obviously someone's pet as they are not native to Indiana, and it is legal to own big cats in the state with a permit. Ironically, Wildlife In Need, Inc., a wildlife refuge, is less than a mile from where the leopard was shot, but Tim Stark, owner, says the leopard was not his. He says he's never had any animals escape his property.

Indiana officials are investigating the animal's origins. If you have any information, please call Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at (812) 837-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR.

So what do you think the story is behind this leopard? Do you think Stark is telling the truth?