Acting on a referral from Southampton Town Police, Southampton Town Animal Control on Monday picked up a deceased caracal, a wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, in Water Mill.
According to animal control officer Mike Lorenz, the animal — a male caracal with its claws intact, which was not wearing a collar — was picked up around 8:30 a.m. on Noyac Path. An autopsy will not be performed and the time frame for ultimate disposal of the deceased caracal is uncertain, Officer Lorenz said. “We’re waiting to see if an owner comes forward,” he said. “This is a first for us.” He said he was aware of a photograph of a collared caracal that some people have suggested is a second caracal on the loose, but had no further information.
A caracal, clearly videoed declawed and with a collar, was first reported wild in mid-October by a Sag Harbor resident. Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons animal care associate Sean Bauer has dedicated himself to finding the animal since it was first sighted by Steven Wright around October 5. Caracals are illegal to own under a 2003 state law aimed at protecting wild animals from private captivity.