Cat burglar took on a new meaning in France this week after residents of a neighborhood near Lille in northern France spotted a black panther taking a stroll on gutters in the residential town.
According to media reports, the big cat was pacing outside windows and lounging on building ledges. Once it entered a house it was trapped by firefighters and a veterinarian. The big cat was hit with a drug dart that put it to sleep and then placed in a cage. It's not clear if the black panther had escaped from a zoo or was a pet.
Panther lounged on gutters for close to an hour
According to residents on Twitter, the panther was nicknamed the “Panther of Armentieres” after the small town it terrorized for nearly an hour. The panther wandered back and forth along the gutter of six homes.
« Ce monde devient fou » C’est un mantra que je répète régulièrement...— antonbundle (@antonbundle) September 18, 2019
Tu sors promener ton chien après le boulot, tu vois flics et pompiers au loin... Et là, stupeur, on t’annonce qu’une panthère noire se balade sur les chêneaux !!! 😱
Images ci-dessous chopées sur FB ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/HW0BsK4qwX
Panther cub appeared to be domesticated
The big cat appears to be a baby, with one report pegging its age at five or six months. It reportedly weighs about 44 pounds. Officials told French publication La Voix du Nord that the claws were manicured and the panther was relatively passive, implying it has been domesticated. The panter was relocated to the Maubeuge Zoo.
Residents of the small French town definitely had reason to worry, even if the panther was a cub. They are one of the strongest tree climbing big cats and are known to pounce on their prey from above, usually from trees, not gutters. They can leap as much as 20 feet to catch their prey and are known to feast on deer, monkeys, rabbits, and birds. Because it is a stealthy attacker it has earned the nickname the ghost of the forest.