Animal Predators Suspected
In CO Cat Mutilations


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 sense. -ed.
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. is the Viacom Internet Services Inc. Web site for KCNC-TV and based in Denver, Colo. All Rights Reserved.



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