Cat causes wild animal concern in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – You may have heard about that so-called wild animal spotted in the area of Buckingham Pond in Albany.

Some people speculated that it was a bobcat. Others saying, it was just a large house cat.

The story began circulating on Saturday when folks taking a walk around Albany’s Buckingham Pond spotted an odd looking creature.

It was an off duty Albany police officer who snapped a photo of the animal in response to another fellow walker’s concerns.

It was posted on the Albany Police Department’s Facebook page along with a precaution telling walkers to not approach the animal.

The post garnered an enormous amount of attention.

Some people speculating it could be a bobcat. Others poking fun saying it was the legendary Chupacabra. Many felt it was nothing more than a common house cat.

It appears those folks were right!

Meet Chester, a 5-year-old Maine Coon who happens to live right across the street from pond.

“This time of year, he really loves to be outside,” Lisa VanRyn said.

She says she and her neighbors instantly recognized Chester’s “lion” style haircut in that fuzzy Facebook photo and compared it to some of her own pictures.

“I think they just caught the back end of him. At least that’s what the picture is.”

She says Chester is harmless and would never hurt anyone.

The Albany Police say the DEC has been contacted, but it’s growing increasingly clear that the animal in the photo is likely a pet.

Out on the trail around the pond, we met Thomas Evers and his daughter. He says the off-duty officer who snapped the photo is his brother-in-law who was trying to assist a concerned citizen fearing the animal might be dangerous or rabid.

“His phone was blowing up at dinner and he got a lot of cat pictures on his locker,” Evers said. “They were all razzing him over a cat. He just said, ‘Someone asks you to do something, you’re a police officer, you do it.'”

As for Chester, after a few days in the news, he now seems content to get back up on perch and to stay out of the headlines.

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