Wily puma keeps ahead of the hunt
20 June 2005AMSTERDAM — Several people found new signs at the weekend of the puma believed to be living in the woods of the Veluwe district of the Netherlands.
20 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — Several people found new signs at the weekend of the puma believed to be living in the woods of the Veluwe district of the Netherlands.
The most reliable report of the big cat dates from Friday evening, according to staff with the Pantera big cat foundation.
The foundation was hired by Ede Municipal Council last week to catch the animal alive after news the police might have to shoot it caused public outrage.
A massive search involving local police, the military police and game wardens failed to find the animal last week. Dutch-based Pantera insisted it had the expertise to find and take the puma alive.
Ouwehands animal park in Rhenen has said it will take the puma in if and when it is captured alive.
Pantera conducted another search for the puma through out Sunday evening and night, but without result.
The foundation's staff are ready to spring into action when a new and credible sighting is made.
Arno van der Valk of Pantera said that the tropical heat over the weekend and on Monday made it more difficult to locate the puma.
"Felines are awfully lazy by nature and they sleep a lot more when it is very warm. The puma is probably stretched out nicely in the shade, I suspect," he said on Monday afternoon.
Pantera is to carry out a new search on Monday evening and night of the area that has generated the most sightings.
Ede Municipality has given Pantera until Tuesday to catch the animal. After that the police will take up the search again — increasing the chance that the puma will have to be shot dead.
Although the puma is considered to be a potential danger to humans, Van der Valk suspects it has been living in the Veluwe woods for years.
"The beast was seen in Otterlo five years ago and two years ago he was in Beekbergen. Last Friday he ambled along the top of a garden fence in plain sight of a mother with children," Van der Valk said.
"It is possible that the animal is suffering from pain as it is getting older and is therefore venturing into the populated world where it is easier for him to catch prey," Van der Valk said.
here have been no reports to date of unexplained attacks on household pets.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news