(CAPTAIN COOK) KHON2 — The run of mysterious wildcat sightings continues on the Big Island. This time, it was seen just a few miles from where it was first spotted and captured on grainy surveillance video.
The sightings began in mid-August when one resident captured photos of what looks to be a large cat and its paw prints on farmland above Kailua-Kona.
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On Sunday night at around 7:45 p.m., a Manago Hotel staff member reported seeing something similar along Mamalahoa Highway in Captain Cook, 5 miles away from the initial sighting.
“Seen something out of the corner of my eye, wasn’t sure what it was it was across the street it was pretty dark it was after the sun was down,” the staff member, who wants to remain anonymous, said.
The cat was also reported to have been seen by a visitor.
“A guest came in from California stating that they saw a mountain lion, and they came to a pretty good conclusion that it was because they seen them all of the time because they live in California,” the staff member said. “So then we reviewed our security footage and looked at it and that’s what we got. You see it walking in the video down the driveway for about 25 yards and then headed back up toward the baseball field.”
In a statement, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said it did place baits and cameras to try and capture evidence of a big cat but were not successful.
“DLNR staff have received many calls about big cat sightings, yet none have provided sufficient evidence to require a site visit,” a spokesperson said.
They are now turning over the investigation to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, noting that the HDOA has jurisdiction.
The HDOA responded to KHON2’s inquiry on Monday and stated “HDOA always has jurisdiction on investigating exotic animal sightings. We asked DLNR to tell the person who provided the earlier video to contact our inspectors, but he has not,”
Some residents are concerned about the idea that something wild and mysterious could be out there in the community.
“With the other stories going around this area we just wanted to let the community in Captain Cook area know for everybody’s safety of themselves and their pets and wildlife around them. Up here there’s a lot of pets and people have dogs in their yards,” the staff member said.
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