A black panther which is considered to be France’s most coveted cat, was rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week. Reports came to know that it has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, said the officials.
The city’s mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told sources on Tuesday that the cat was stolen overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border. Decagny said that “This animal was the only target,” adding “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.
The Zoo personnel are worried about its health “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added. The animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30 kilograms (55-66 pounds).
The officials said that the panther will be transferred to a center-specialized in restoring wild animals that had been domesticated. The cat was caught by the firefighters on Wednesday as it roamed in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.
The owner of the panther has escaped through the same window for fear of being charged with illegally harboring a wild animal. Police could not find the fugitive owner who may face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and 15,000 euros ($16,500) in fines, Decagny said.