Slain deer rekindles
possibility of Maui cat

The deer was near an area where
a catlike animal has been seen

WAILUKU >> State wildlife officials are investigating whether there is a connection between the killing of a young deer and a large cat that was seen in the lower Olinda area.

"At this time we do not have conclusive evidence for what might have killed this deer," state wildlife biologist Fern Duvall said.

The 30-pound fawn was found late Friday evening by a homeowner on private land near a gulch where wildlife officials had tried to capture a large cat, said Deborah Ward, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Land & Natural Resources.

An Olinda resident called police about seeing a catlike animal Saturday afternoon from his lanai near the same area, Ward said.

She said wildlife officials tried to get paw prints, but the tracks were mostly covered by the prints of a resident's dog.

Duvall, who believes the animal might be a jaguar or leopard, cautioned residents not to be tempted by recent rewards to try to capture the animal.

Olinda residents William and Susan Wachter have offered a $500 reward for the safe capture of the cat, and other people have joined in offering additional money, said retired physician Edward Boone, Susan's father.

State wildlife officials abandoned attempts to trap the cat in the gulch last week after concluding the animal had moved away.

Boone and his grandson Geoff, who also live in lower Olinda, said they do not believe the cat poses a threat to their family.

Geoff Wachter said reports of a catlike animal have been occurring for years. "Nothing's really changed," he said. "If there was a cat out there ... it's probably someone's pet."


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --