Search over for wan­der­ing chee­tah, B.C. au­thor­i­ties ques­tion per­son of in­ter­est

Asian Journal - - BRISTISH COLUMBIA - By Ge­or­don Omand, The Cana­dian Press

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.

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