Powell police call Columbus Zoo after big cat sighting

Powell police shared this video of an unidentified cat. (Courtesy: Melinda Silber)

There's a big mystery surrounding a big cat - so big that police called the Columbus Zoo to make sure it wasn't missing one of its animals.

Powell police tweeted a seven-second-long video of a large cat roaming around a backyard of a home in a subdivision off of Powell Road near SR 315. The video was taken by a woman house-sitting. Police say they called the zoo and were assured no animals were missing.

Police haven't identified the cat and weren't sure about its size, but the animal did not display any aggressive behavior. So the question, of course, is what was the animal? Neighbors speculate it was a wild animal.

"Looks like a cougar to me, a mountain lion," said Rich Lese, a landscaper who said he's been mowing lawns in the neighborhood for 30 years.

But experts at the Columbus Zoo saw the video and say it is too difficult to make a determination what kind of cat it is.

"It's at a distance, so it's hard to have a definitive identification of what we're looking at," said Doug Warmolts, vice-president of animal car at the zoo. He said he's pretty sure of what the animal is not.

"A cat like a cougar is an ambush predator," Warmolts said. "They are secretive by nature so it would be unusual, in my estimation, if that's what this is, to see it wandering around out in the open like that."

Powell police warned residents about what appeared to be large cat spotted roaming around a neighborhood Sunday night.

The animal was seen around Valley Run Drive in the Deer Run subdivision around 7:00 p.m, police said.

Anyone with information was asked to call police at 614-885-3374.

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