The hunt is on for a black panther on the loose in an Italian nature reserve — who may or may not be vegetarian.
The big cat, who is thought to have escaped from a “private collection” (ugh), has taken up residence at the 900-acre Torbiere del Sebino reserve in Lombardy for the last month.
Veterinarians have laid out traps baited with slices of steak to try and lure the animal, but so far, the panther hasn’t fallen for the bait leaving many to think the feline is actually a vegetarian. The theory isn’t that far-fetched. If the cat was raised in illegal captivity, then most likely it has been hand fed on treats.
So far the search, which is being led by local, regional and military police, has cost over $15,000. According to a statement posted on its Facebook page, the scenic reserve, which boasts a large lake, will remain closed at least until August 20 due to its critter problem.
We would suggest leaving out some fresh greens and grains, but since the panther is surrounded by such lush vegetation in the park, it looks like that cat isn’t going anywhere.