Pet bobcat missing in Jefferson Co. sparks investigation by Dept. of Conservation

The 35 pound bobcat went missing in Jefferson County a few weeks ago. (Credit: Owner's picture)

ARNOLD ( – A Jefferson County family is looking for their missing pet bobcat causing the Missouri Department of Conservation to investigate the matter.

A woman posted an ad on Craigslist about her pet bobcat Artemis. He escaped from their home near Lonedell and Highway 21 a few weeks ago.

“I miss my girl terribly. If anyone spots her please call or text me. If she is seen, it will be easy to tell she is not a local, wild bobcat,” wrote the owner. News 4 spoke with her over the phone who said she is desperate to get her pet back. She said she’s had Artemis for six years and bought the 35-pound bobcat from a breeder in Montana.Download the KMOV News appA neighbor said they heard about the missing bobcat a few weeks ago, and since then she’s been nervous about her dog.

“I’m afraid for the dog because I let her out by herself, a lot of people do down here,” said Charleen who lives down the road from the bobcat owner. Now investigators from the Missouri Department of Conservation are investigating the missing bobcat.

“Technically it’s not legal to have it as a pet, we do have under certain provisions you can hold a bobcat and other types of wildlife,” said Dan Zarlenga with the Department of Conservation.

According to wildlife code, you must have a permit to have a bobcat. There are two kinds of permits, a breeding permit and a hobby permit. They have different requirements but they are very specific in the fact that the animal must be in a confined space.

“According to the wildlife code of Missouri a bobcat is not allowed to roam freely in a residence,” said Zarlenga.

They also must be inspected once a year by the Department of Conservation. Right now investigators are working to determine if the owners have a valid permit.

According to the owner’s post, the animal is declawed.

“She is not a danger to people or pets but she is very skittish. She has been raised around cats and dogs. But, if she is cornered by an aggressive dog or person she may try to bite,” said the post.

Investigators say anyone who spots the animal should not try to capture it but instead call conservation agents at 314-954-5697.

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