Reports of a giant cat stalking the streets of Detroit made national headlines for a few days.
But now an animal group says that the big cat of Detroit, who was rumored to be the size of a Doberman, has been shot and killed.
Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue told WXYZ-TV that the cat met an untimely end. They had been trying for the last several days to rescue the animal.
The Detroit Free Press found out more about the cat. For starters, the feline had a name: Chum.
Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek, founder of Paws for the Cause, told the Free Press that the cat was three years old and weighed 25 pounds. It was a Savannah cat, a cross-breed between an African serval and a domestic house cat that was first introduced in the 1980s.
The cat also wasn't a stray. The owners, who lived in Eastpointe, which borders Detroit, said Chum had escaped through a bathroom window about a month ago. They hadn't micro-chipped their pet.
The animal's remains were found in a trash can on Detroit's east side Monday evening. WIlhelm-Bruzek said that a resident living just south of Eight Mile Road had shot and killed the feline days ago. Neighbors in the area had reportedly asked the Detroit Police and the Michigan Humane Society to investigate reports of the animal, but action wasn't taken quick enough to save Chum's life.
“I think people can’t just go around shooting things they don’t understand,” Wilhelm-Bruzek told the Free Press. “I think we need to be a little bit more respectful of the animals and human beings around us."
The news has shaken up animal lovers, many of whom condemned the shooting on Twitter, though a few saw an opportunity for dark humor as the situation unfolded.
It's a tough life for strays in Detroit. Read more about Detroit's stray dog problem and the people who are working to rescue abandoned animals here.