Wild cat experts hired to catch elusive puma

15th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

16 June 2005AMSTERDAM — Ede Municipal Council has hired the Pantera big cat foundation to help catch a puma that is roaming free in the Veluwe forest.

16 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — Ede Municipal Council has hired the Pantera big cat foundation to help catch a puma that is roaming free in the Veluwe forest.

The council opts for the Pantera foundation after its staff claimed they could catch the big cat alive. The foundation has been given from Friday to Tuesday to capture the animal.

A mass search by police over recent days have discovered tell-tale sights of the cat and some people have caught fleeting glances of it. But attempts to catch it have failed so far.

The police had indicated that the puma would be shot dead if it could not be caught quickly.

Pantera is based in the Dutch town of Nijeberkoop and  claims to be the only "real" big cat reception centre in Europe. The foundation was chosen by the town council following consultations with animal welfare groups.

The public has been warned to avoid the Veluwe woods near Ede as the search continues.

It is unclear how a puma came to be in the Veluwe, a 60km wooded area that includes the Hoge Veluwe national park. The police have not received reports of anyone losing their big cat pet, nor have any pumas escaped from a zoo in the Netherlands.

But police have warned cyclists and ramblers to avoid the woods near Ede because experts say a puma on the loose could be very dangerous.

Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman said attempts would be made to capture the animal alive, but if that failed it would be shot and killed.

Newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported that the first signs of the puma were detected near Harskamp at the weekend. Over the following days more traces were found and members of the public reported sightings. Game wardens also found half-eaten game.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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