Search over for wandering cheetah, B.C. authorities question person of interest
Vancouver: Conservation officers have called off the search for a cheetah last seen roaming a highway in British Columbia’s Interior late last week. Insp. Joe Caravetta of the Conservation Officer Service said Monday that there have been no reported sightings of the stray cat since it was originally spotted in the Kootenay region last Thursday. “We haven’t found the cheetah. Whether it’s at large or not, we can’t confirm,’’ he said. “At this point in time we don’t feel there’s a present, immediate safety risk to the public.’’ RCMP sent out a release Thursday evening that the big cat had been seen wandering along Highway 3 near Crawford Bay, about 50 kilometres northeast of Nelson in the Kootenay region. The witness who happened
A CTV photo
upon the cheetah took several pictures of it walking along the gravel shoulder between the highway and a snow-covered field. The witness said the animal was wearing an orange coloured cloth collar. Officials have spoken to one person of interest since the investigation began, Caravetta added, but didn’t elaborate on why they talked with that person. “Obviously somebody brought it here, it didn’t just walk from Africa,’’ he said. “So who brought it, where did they have it and where is it now?’’ Caravetta also stressed that conservation officers were not interested in killing the animal.