An Indiana couple got the surprise of their lives recently when they found out the bobcat they shot in their backyard was really a leopard.
Donna Duke told WDRB News that her friend, who wished to remain anonymous, lives near Charlestown in an area that had seen a number of recent attacks against dogs and cats. A local wildlife official told them to be on the lookout for a bobcat.
Ms. Duke said her friend told her that she and her boyfriend, who also wished to remain anonymous, took turns watching the area from the roof every night.
Sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Ms. Duke said her friend's boyfriend spotted the cat and shot it.
"But it was not a bobcat," she said.
Phil Bloom, director of communications for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, confirmed on Friday that the animal was a leopard.
"Perhaps an immature cat about 9 months old," he told WDRB News. "DNR is attempting to determine who it belonged to, or where it came from."
"In any case, it would be someone's pet, since leopards are not native to Indiana, or for that matter, to North America," he said, adding that it's legal to own big cats in Indiana, but it requires a permit.
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