"Large feline" spotted in Blytheville, but what is it? - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

"Large feline" spotted in Blytheville, but what is it?

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(Source: Blytheville Police Department Facebook page) (Source: Blytheville Police Department Facebook page)
Source: Doug Brown Source: Doug Brown
Source: Doug Brown Source: Doug Brown

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Blytheville Police Department is alerting residents of the presence of a "large feline" in wooded areas of Blytheville.

According to Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson, the Department confirmed sightings along Perimeter Road in the Thunder Bayou area of Blytheville. The first report of the came in around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday by motorists.

For a few hours people and officers watched and photographed what Chief Thompson suspects could be a bobcat. 

Chief Thompson said there have been numerous reports of sightings similar to the latest one over the past 15-20 years. However, the most recent incident is the first time the feline has been observed and photographed in the daytime in an area with higher traffic.

TGBL employee Tony Peterson saw more than one traveling together a few years ago."It seemed to be a mother and three cubs. I guess a few of them have grown up."

Avid golfer and Thunder Bayou employee Van Rhodes has repeatedly seen an animal about the size of a medium or large dog near the entrance of the golf course running towards a brush of woods.

"I've seen it at the pro shop early in the morning on several occasions," he said. "They had the police out here and the animal control officer. They been out here and they been searching in the ditch. I guess to try to see if they can capture it, which I doubt that they will."

The Blytheville Police Department is working with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to identify the type of feline that people have spotted. They do not believe the animal poses a threat.

BPD Chief Ross Thompson said anyone who sees the animal should call 911 so it can be tracked and monitored, and refrain from disturbing it or leaving food for it. 

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