An Indiana leopard has been killed in Charleston last week by a woman who claims she was simply trying to protect her own cats, according to reports.
The woman who killed the leopard has asked to remain anonymous, but it is reported that she had become extremely concerns after recent reports that a number of dogs and cats had been attacked in the area.
One of the woman's friends, Donna Duke, has told local news station WDRB that the woman thought of her cats as her own family. She had contacted a local wildlife official, who speculated that the attacks could be from a bobcat.
To protect her cats the woman then staked out her backyard with her boyfriend.
However, the pair were startled when a large animal came into their backyard, and they quickly moved in to kill it. They later were said to be surprised when they were told that the animal was a leopard and not a bobcat.
It is reported that Indiana wildlife authorities are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to determine who owned the animal. Whoever owned the leopard should have had a permit to keep it, and leopards are not native to North America.
Anyone with any further information about the Indiana leopard should contact the Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at (812)837-9536.
Here is a video news report into the incident: