NEOSHO, Mo. _ State biologists say the large black cat killed by a Newton County sheriff's deputy last month has been identified as a leopard.
James Dixon with the Missouri Department of Conservation says they determined the animal's species after sending its hide to the St. Louis Zoo. Some had thought it might be a jaguar.
Sheriff's Corporal Donn Hall shot the animal on May 19th as it charged him. He had answered a call from a woman saying the cat was scratching at her door.
Conservation officials say the leopard was likely a captive animal that had escaped. Owners of big cats in Missouri are required to register their animals but the sheriff's department says no one has reported the leopard missing.
Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com