CENTRAL ISLIP, New York (PIX11) — A wild cat spotted on Long Island this week was captured early Friday, according to police and a local animal rescue group.
The feline, which has been speculated to be everything from a lynx to a bobcat to an African serval, surfaced when it darted in front of a car on Hawthorne Avenue in Central Islip around 3:30 a.m., according to Strong Island Animal League and Suffolk County police.
After police and the rescue group were notified, cops tranquilized and captured the big cat, Strong Island said. Police said that the animal appeared unharmed. It was transported by the group to a local animal shelter for analysis.
The cat was previously spotted outside a Central Islip home earlier this week in what the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the first area sighting in 38 years.
Prior to its capture, officials from the Bronx Zoo speculated that it was an African serval, experts from Humane Long Island and Strong Island Animal League identified the cat as some type of lynx, while others believed it to be a bobcat.
Regardless of its species, it is illegal to keep the wild cat as a pet without a special permit, officials said, noting that it may have escaped someone’s home.