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NASHVILLE, Ind. — James Halcomb of Nashville, Ind. says he knows exactly what kind of animal killed his cat earlier this month, and it was no bobcat.

Halcomb told the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that the animal he saw attacking his cat on March 11 was a mountain lion.

He told The Republic newspaper in Columbus that the animal was “the size of a small deer” and had a gold coat and bushy tail.

“It was the size of a small deer, but real thick,” Halcomb said. “It was very large. It was well over 100 pounds. It was definitely not a bobcat, definitely a mountain lion, without a doubt. I got close.”

DNR staff searched the area for tracks or other signs of a mountain lion, but found no evidence of the big cat, according to Marty Benson with Indiana DNR.

“No evidence of a mountain lion was found, although there were clear tracks of other wildlife typical to the area, such as deer,” Benson said.

Mountain lions once lived in Indiana but disappeared from the state by the late 1800s.

The likelihood of encountering a mountain lion in Indiana is “remote,” but it has happened before, according to the DNR website.

“The only confirmed mountain lion reports were in fall 2009 in southern Clay County and spring 2010 in northern Greene County,” the agency states on its website. “Most sightings prove to be a species other than a mountain lion, are inconclusive, or are part of an internet hoax.” 

The Indiana DNR is still investigating the incident and is unable to confirm whether a mountain lion was responsible for the attack on James Halcomb’s cat.

Click here to report a mountain lion or large animal sighting to the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.

(Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty.)