Black Panther On The Loose In Italy May Be Escaped Pet Of Italian Mob Boss

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A file photo of a black panther – India

A mafia boss’s pet panther could be on the loose after the large black cat was spotted roaming in the countryside of southern Italy.

The big cat was seen and photographed on several occasions by people in the southern region of Puglia, the home turf of the Sacra Corona mafia, the least known of Italy’s criminal networks. Locals believe the mob could be the cat’s owners.

The mafia has a history of bringing in exotic animals into the country as ‘pets’ and then letting them loose later on.

Black panther photographed by locals in Puglia

“It’s being said that the animal could have escaped from the villa of a mob boss’s son,” Davide Carlucci, the mayor of a local town, Acquaviva delle Fonti, told La Stampa newspaper.

“A while ago someone in the region had a tiger. It’s a very serious issue – they bring in these animals and then later let them escape.” A vet had identified the footprints of a panther, he said.

Authorities have been looking for the animal and continue to do so. They have warned the public to be on the look out, keep pets inside and most certainly, never sneak up on the panther as it could act aggressive.