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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There was a surprising stowaway on a Gateway Clipper boat Sunday morning.
As Gateway Clipper crews were inspecting one of their vessels before passengers boarded, they found a bobcat on the top deck of The Empress.
“It’s the first bobcat, from what we understand, that was trapped and contained in the City of Pittsburgh,” Joseph D’Amico, with the Gateway Clipper fleet, said.
Captain Brian Krug had to see for himself when he heard about the stowaway bobcat.
“[They said,] ‘We have a cat on board, and it’s a big one,’ so I said I’ll come and look at it,” Krug said.
“One of my crew let me know he was up there. They said a cat, so I was expecting somebody’s pet. I walked up there, this thing is about three feet… It was quite large. Not what I was expecting,” chief mate Aaron Snider said.
The North American bobcat was discovered about five minutes before boarding time. The crew took extra steps to keep it away from passengers.
“So we roped off the area, kept everybody down off the third deck, posted some of our crew there to make sure that it didn’t run too far,” Snider said.
Animal rescue officers eventually captured and took the bobcat away.
Jill Argall, director of the Humane Animal Rescue Wildlife Center, says the animal appears to be in good health.
“I can tell you that it’s a healthy, adult male bobcat. He weighs about 18 pounds. No injuries at all, checks out. He’s perfectly healthy and sound,” she said.
It appears the bobcat was living in the heavily wooded area just below Mt. Washington near the railroad tracks.
This may be the first caught in the city, but it won’t be the last one we see.
“I think it’s just going to be a natural thing that we’re going to start to see as our city becomes more green and animals are learning to use the spaces around us,” Argall said.