Fredericton-area residents disturbed by disappearance of numerous cats

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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FREDERICTON - Something is killing cats in the Evergreen subdivision near Fredericton.
Since Aug. 26, one family has lost multiple felines and there could be as many as 18 missing in the Evergreen-Pepper Creek area.
Larry Mills, who lives in the Evergreen subdivision, said he lost three pet cats within a week.
Four days after the first went missing, the second disappeared. Two days after that, a third vanished.
Mills believes they were attacked and possibly eaten by predators.
"I did some investigating and went from a few doors to a few doors and found out there were eight or nine missing in this area and a bunch down in the Pepper Creek area," Mills said.
Pepper Creek is situated across Route 10 from the Evergreen subdivision.
Efforts to get anyone to look into the disappearances of the cats or even to show some compassion have been futile, Mills said.
He said he contacted animal control, provincial game wardens and even the RCMP.
Mills said he was told by the Department of Natural Resources that he needed to "make his house cats house cats."
"How am I supposed to do that now when my cats are gone and there are other cats gone and we don't know what it is (that's killing them)?"
Mills said he was informed there are families of foxes in the area.
He said he asked Natural Resources to trap and relocate them, but it refused.
Another Evergreen resident, Diane Gibson, has also lost her cat. It disappeared Aug. 3.
Gibson said she and her husband have no idea what happened.
Jean-Michel DeVink, a furbearer biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, said such disappearances can be caused by a number of factors, including humans and dogs.
With regard to wildlife, great horned owls, foxes, bobcats, coyotes and even fishers have an acquired taste for cats.
DeVink said the department doesn't get involved with, for example, cats disappearing until there's evidence that it is caused by wildlife. There would have to be regular sightings of a predator or evidence of consumed remains.
"Our recommendation to individuals, especially those who live in suburban or rural areas, is that you have to be conscious you are living where wildlife live."
Wild animals are wary of people and wouldn't attack a person unless there were extreme circumstances, DeVink added.

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, RCMP

Geographic location: Fredericton, Evergreen

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