- Note - This is a highly unlikely explanation for the
cat mutilations. Foxes and the other 'predators' mentioned kill to eat...and
do not to leave strangely dismembered, whole and partial cadavers behind.
Although this may be comforting to area residents, it makes little practical
- From KCNC-TV
- AURORA, Colo. (AP) -- Animal
predators may be responsible for dozens of attacks on cats in the Denver
area, police said Wednesday, a day after authorities in Utah blamed foxes
for a string of cat mutilations there.
- "So far everything we know also points to predation,"
Aurora police spokesman Rudy Herrera said.
- Experts and consultants were still reviewing about 45
cases reported in Aurora and other Denver area cities. Herrera said more
details would be announced Friday.
- Police previously said they believed humans were involved
in some of the cases but that they wanted to consult with wildlife experts
before making a final determination.
- "If what we know now continues to be true, absolutely,
we're elated there was no human involvement," Herrera said. "It's
not good for the animals who lost their lives, and their owners, but the
fact that it's a predation type issue kind of puts the mind at ease."
- Police have consulted with veterinarians, wildlife experts
and a coroner on the attacks. Animal control officers said some attacks
were done with surgical precision.
- Bears, mountain lions, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and owls
all have been known to prey on household pets, said Todd Malmsbury, a spokesman
for the state Division of Wildlife.
- "Many of these critters have sharp claws or talons
and very sharp incisors," he said.
- The agency advises residents not to let pets roam.
- "They can be hit by cars, killed by other dogs or
killed by predators that are simply doing their business," he said.
- Malmsbury said his agency did not investigate the cases
but one of its experts has consulted with authorities.
- In Salt Lake City, investigators said 11 cats found mutilated
since May 2002 were probably killed by hungry foxes that had strayed down
from the foothills.
- (© 2003 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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