Feline fugitive in New Jersey was a case of mistaken identity
South Jersey residents were on the prowl this week for a wild creature roaming the streets of Atlantic County.
The Hamilton Township Police Department received a call about a wild animal on the loose in the Weymouth section of Hamilton Township. The reports came in that a large black mammal, thought to be a coyote or black panther was seen roaming the area.
Black panthers are beautiful animals. Technically, they are actually leopards or jaguars with a genetic mutation that gives them a luxurious black coat of fur. When I saw the story, I thought it odd that we'd see one around these parts. They're native to Africa, Asia and South America.
So, I thought, maybe it's a coyote that people are seeing. Coyotes are similar to wolves, and sometimes, if you're near the woods at night, you can hear howling. After doing research, I learned that the coyotes with darker fur, tend to live in higher elevations.
If one of these wild animals were in fact, on the streets of Hamilton Township, it could be cause for concern. Is it possible that it escaped from a zoo? Maybe a resident had one as a pet and it escaped? I mean dogs tend to get out on occasion, why not a panther?
If you did find a panther roaming the streets, do you look for a tag or bring it in to see if it's chipped? These are things I was wondering.
Turns out that on Friday, the mystery was solved. Police found a large, black Cane Corso wandering the area. If you don't know, Cane Corso are a large breed dog. They can be black, and from a distance, it's understandable why some would be fearful.
This story has a happy ending. The lost pooch has been reunited with its family, and the citizens of Hamilton Township can sleep easy, knowing there's no black panther in their town.