The Italian Almanac

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panther

Trap the Panther

The hunt is on for a big cat in the area of San Casciano Valdipesa south of Florence after repeated sightings during the last six months, especially over the last 10 days. An expert has identified paw prints found in the area as most likely being of a "large feline, a leopard or panther or similar species, which is probably young in age".

Six cages have been positioned to trap the feline and nighttime controls have been reinforced in the area where faeces, claw marks on tree trunks and the remains of supposed prey have been found. There have been numerous big feline scares in Italy in recent years although attempts to catch the animals in question have often led to nothing.

Only recently it emerged that an animal sighted by hunters in the Valdelsa area of Tuscany and thought to be a large feline was actually just a very large black Maine Coon cat.