By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Residents of the Maplewood subdivision in Trussville are concerned over a “large cat-like animal” seen several times in the garden home area of the neighborhood.
A June 23 notice sent to Maplewood residents states that one resident has lost a cat and another resident found her small dog “dead of severe injuries,” which a veterinarian said “were not typical of having been hit by a car.”
Several more residents have said on Facebook that they’ve had their cats disappear recently. Some have said the animal jumps tall fences and is extremely quick. One resident has even set up a camera hoping to get pictures of the animal.
The notice says the animal is dark, has a definite cat face and is two to three feet long with a long, tapered tail and green eyes.
One woman said her cat was home Monday night and was gone Tuesday morning.
“She does NOT miss breakfast,” the woman said on Facebook.
One person suggested that the land being cleared on U.S. Highway 11 as a “borrow pit” for the Trussville Springs construction could be part of the problem.
“Maplewood is right down from where they dropped all those trees, reducing habitat and pushing coyotes further up the Cahaba Trail,” the man said on Facebook. “Which might explain the missing animals.”
Trussville Police Department Lt. Jeff Bridges said the department has not received any reports about the situation.
Another man said the game warden is aware of the situation and is working with a wildlife and trapping expert to resolve the problem. He said the trapper is “rigging up a humane cage trap just in case domestic animals investigate.”
Residents have suggested the following as possibilities:
- Coyote: A species of canine found in North and Central America that can weigh 15 to 46 pounds
- Panther/cougar/bobcat: A panther/cougar is a brown to grayish color and can weigh between 75 and 120 pounds. A bobcat is much smaller and weighs 25 to 30 pounds.
- Jaguarundi: A small, wild cat native to Central and South America, which is usually about one to two feet long and ranges from 19 to 30 pounds
A coyote recently attacked a small dog in a Pinson neighborhood.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.