Possible sightings of a big cat in a Broken Arrow park

Monday, November 14th 2005, 12:42 pm
By: News On 6

A large cat is on the prowl in Broken Arrow and it has prompted authorities to close a park and warn students at a nearby school.

The cat is possibly a mountain lion. It was seen at the Ray Harrel Nature Park, just south of Tuscon Street in Broken Arrow.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Broken Arrow Police walked through the woods of the Ray Harrel Nature Park, looking for signs of a big cat. They didn't find anything out of the ordinary, but the heavy woods would provide plenty of places for a big cat to hide.

Scott Esmond with the Broken Arrow Parks Department: "There's a trapper that worked through the weekend and I was hoping he would have something by now, but with another sighting last night we figured it was time to take some action."

No one who saw the cat was sure of what they saw, but the size of it and the long tail make it sound like a mountain lion.

There are some paw prints from the Lakes at Indian Springs subdivision, where all the sightings were reported. In each case the cat ran back to the park, where traps are now set to catch the animal.

There are two schools near the park - Childers Middle School and Spring Creek Elementary School. The school district sent letters home telling parents recess was restricted because of the cat. And the schools are not letting students cut through the park on their way home.

The Broken Arrow Parks Department says the park will remain closed until the cat is trapped, or until there are no sightings for several days.