Residents warned of exotic cat on the loose which ‘is probably gonna be hungry’

Residents of Long Island, New York State, have been warned of a potentially dangerous exotic cat roaming the area.

The animal has been spotted making its way through the residential neighbourhood of West Islip on Tuesday (July 26).

The sightings come after the town has been left terrified by a spate of encounters with sharks in recent weeks.

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Speaking to the New York Post, Roy Gross, of the Suffolk County SPCA, said: “Safeguard your children, safeguard your pets. They are a type of animal that can be extremely dangerous. It’s probably gonna be hungry, and it’s probably frightened.”

It is thought that the animal is a lynx and that it was illegally owned.

The question of why it was on the loose has left locals scratching their heads, with the feline still thought to be at large.

Gross said the case was still under investigation, adding: “It is illegal to own exotic cats without a special permit in New York. The owner may have raised it from a little kitten and it may or may not know how to fend for itself.”

One brave resident managed to snap its picture, despite warnings from the Strong Island Animal Rescue League that people shouldn’t go anywhere near the beast if they see it.

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“If anyone sees it please keep a visual and call 631-403-0598 and leave a voicemail. Do not chase; just keep a visual,” they said.

People have been chipping with their two-pence, encouraging would-be animal-tamers to do the smart thing and stay away.

According to the Post, one said: “Everyone should be concerned about a pet or person getting hurt. This is a matter for authorities not amateurs. This is not a lost pet. It’s a dangerous animal."

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