Big Cat Sighting in Ohio
From the Wilmington News Journal:
"Amy Miller of Wilmington has had cats her whole life. She has four cats now. But she's never seen a feline in the open as large as the cat she believes she saw on Hickory Trail Drive in Wilmington this week.
"About 4:15 p.m. on a weekday earlier this week, Miller was driving to her parents' residence in Timber Glen off Truesdell Street (state Route 730) when she noticed something out of the corner of her eye as she neared her destination. It was walking down a wide path of grass that comes down through a woods, a route deer often travel in order to drink from a stormwater retention area nearby.
"Miller pulled into her parents' driveway and jumped out of her car while making sure not to shut the car door because she didn't want to scare the animal away. She said she stood and watched it slowly walk down into a ravine. So this sighting was not a mere glimpse, she said, although she acknowledged she was at a distance from the animal.
"'Here's what I told my mom. It was bigger than a goat, but it wasn't as big as a St. Bernard,' Miller said Friday when contacted.
"'It was not a house cat. It was seven house cats in one,' said Miller, who pretty much insists it was some member of the cat family. She believes it was a cat because of the way it was walking.
"'Not like it was hunting. Kind of like if you see a cat out in the field looking for a mouse. Kind of sneaking along. That's what he was doing,' she added.
"It had a yellowish color, Miller said. She didn't see any spots and it looked like it had a tail.
"'It was like the size of a very big dog. And it was not a dog,' she said. 'I know how cats act. It was walking like a cat. It was definitely not a dog,' she said."
Years ago, I once tracked reports of a large tawny cat as it was reported from south of Dayton traveling to points in southern Ohio (Highland County). It was reported from several different papers, yet not one reporter caught on that it was a string of related reports. I was able to backtrack the reports to an area where, "coincidentally," a law enforcement officer living in a county west of Dayton left town and his job, leaving behind a pet tiger for the authorities to deal with. He was reported to have owned a cougar, also, but that cat had disappeared, as well. Wouldn't surprise me to hear he had just released it. That would explain the almost straight-line trajectory of the wandering cougar, being unfamiliar terrain. I doubt this is the same cat being reported today, but it should be recognized there is a large trade in exotic pets in Ohio.