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'It scared the daylights out of me.' Search continues for wildcat spotted in Central Islip

A Suffolk County community is still on the prowl for a wildcat that was seen by multiple residents in the Central Islip area.

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2022, 10:59 AM

Updated 690 days ago

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A Suffolk County community is still on the prowl for a wildcat that was seen by multiple residents in the Central Islip area.
Suffolk County police say they first received a report of a possible bobcat spotted Tuesday morning on Boulevard Avenue in West Islip. 
Police say officers responding to the area could not locate the animal.
Central Islip resident Diane Huwer tells News 12 she took photos of the cat when she spotted it on Half Mile Road in Central Islip. 
"He looked like a freaking statue - I had to take a double take," Huwer says.
Huwer has five cats inside her home and five cats outside of her home - but nothing prepared her for whatever kind of cat this was.
"I thought it was a mountain lion at first - it scared the daylights out of me," Huwer says.
Courtesy: Diane Huwer
Courtesy: Diane Huwer
The cat later resurfaced in the parking lot at a nearby condo complex. According to a tenant of the complex, someone else who lives there owns the cat.
Courtesy: Bryant Luis Oliveira
News 12 attempted to reach the alleged cat owner’s home, but no one answered.
A separate neighbor off-camera shared a video of the cat outside the door.
News 12 also learned that Strong Island Animal Rescue is now involved in the search. 
Strong Island Animal Rescue's Frankie Floridia says the animal appears to be a Siberian lynx and most likely someone's illegal pet.
Strong Island Animal Rescue tells News 12 that if the cat was legally owned – there would have been a report that it was missing. They say their main priority is making sure it is found safely.
As the search continues, people who live in the area say they are a little concerned.
“It’s scary because at times there are little kids out and you never know what cats like that would do to them – they could be very harmful to them,” says RoseMaria McLennon.
The animal rescue group says anyone who sees the cat should not chase it or try to catch it themselves. They recommend keeping their eyes on it and calling 911.
They also say that these types of cats are most active at night.
The Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown says it will give the big cat a home if the animal is found.


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