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.

See Full Article

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 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.

"We will not destroy this cheetah," he said.

"We understand that these animals are threatened and endangered. The last thing we want to do is shoot a cheetah."

Last week the province asked the Calgary Zoo to house the animal, if found, until a more permanent, licensed facility could be located.

Zoo spokeswoman Trish Exton-Parder said the Alberta facility has the proper permits and expertise to care for a cheetah and would be happy to help.

B.C.'s Forests Ministry received a permit application currently under review to possess a cheetah in the Kootenay region, according to a ministry statement.

"However, ministry staff advise there is no indication or information as to whether the cheetah on the loose is or could be related to the above permit application," the statement said.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo currently holds the only permit to possess a cheetah in B.C., said the statement.

As for the condition of the missing African cat, Caravetta couldn't say if the animal might have died from exposure in an area where temperatures overnight Thursday reached minus 16.

B.C.'s provincial veterinarian says it would be difficult for a cheetah to survive any length of time in cold weather without food, said Caravetta.

"It doesn't look good for it if somebody hasn't already found it."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ethiopia finally set to vote as PM vows 1st fair election

    World News CTV News
    KAMPALA, UGANDA -- Ethiopians will vote Monday in a landmark election overshadowed by reports of famine in the country's war-hit Tigray region and beset by logistical problems that mean some people won't be able to vote until September. Source
  • Australian spy avoids jail in East Timor espionage scandal

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA -- A former Australian spy was released from court on Friday with a three-month suspended prison sentence over his attempt to help East Timor prove that Australia spied on the fledgling nation during multibillion-dollar oil and gas negotiations. Source
  • Rampaging bear in Japan injures 4 before being shot dead

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- A wild brown bear on the the loose all night in a city in northern Japan wounded four people, entered a military camp and disrupted flights at an airport Friday before being shot and killed by authorities. Source
  • Israel to send 1M coronavirus vaccine doses to Palestinians in exchange for future delivery

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israel said Friday it will transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians expect to receive later this year. Source
  • Israel to send 1M coronavirus vaccine doses to Palestinians

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israel said Friday it will transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians expect to receive later this year. Source
  • India switches rollout policy but still short of vaccines

    World News CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- Starting Monday, every Indian adult can get a COVID-19 vaccine dose for free that was purchased by the federal government. The policy reversal, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, ends a complex system of buying vaccines that worsened inequities in administering the shots. Source
  • Iranians vote in presidential poll marred by disqualified candidates

    World News CBC News
    Iran began voting Friday in a presidential election tipped in the favour of a hardline protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fuelling public apathy and sparking calls for a boycott in the Islamic Republic. State-linked opinion polling and analysts put hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi as the dominant front-runner in a field of just four candidates. Source
  • Universities and colleges wrestle with mandating COVID-19 vaccines for return to campus

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Mrozowski just graduated this week from McMaster University's political science program, but the editor-in-chief of the school's student-run newspaper has already turned his mind to the fall semester. Presiding over The Silhouette's staff of full-time undergrads, Mrozowski says the Hamilton, Ont. Source
  • Canada's largest transplant centre slowly marches toward normal after weeks of 'wasted' organs

    Canada News CBC News
    Last July, Sarah Frazer learned she had two years at most before she would need to replace her failing kidneys. "I was 23 at the time — a 23-year-old girl sitting in a physician's office in Toronto General, being told, like, 'You need to find a new kidney,'" recalled the law student. Source
  • Outrage over developer's plan to buy single-family homes reveals a Canadian fixation

    Canada News CBC News
    In the current overheated dog-eat-dog race to buy a home in Canada, we probably shouldn't have been shocked by the wave of outrage triggered by a big property developer's plan to buy thousands of detached family homes and rent them out. Source