A young bobcat who escaped the New Jersey home where he lived as a pet has been found safely. But, as promised, town officials in Stafford Township, on the Jersey Shore, have taken custody of the animal and relocated him to a nearby wildlife sanctuary. Rocky, a three-year-old wildcat, frightened both his owner, Virginia Fine, and local residents when he went missing for the second time in six months, prompting police to retract Fine's permit to keep him in her home.
According to Stafford Police captain Tom Dellane, Fine is due on court on Friday to contest a move to place Rocky in the care of Popcorn Park Zoo, an animal sanctuary for "abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds." "When he escaped back in October, she was issued an ordinance violation for having an animal running at large," Dellane told the Asbury Park Press. "As part of the sentence, she agreed that if the animal ever escaped again, it would be seized and held -- which is what happened."