Mysterious cat seen jumping 6 feet into the air in Hawaii

big cat shadow
Photo credit Getty Images

Wildlife officials are investigating sightings of an unusual animal prowling the rural hills of Hawaii's Big Island.

A resident in Holualoa said he was trimming weeds when he saw a large cat lurking in the distance and observed it jumping six feet in the air.

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"I look up about 125 yards up towards the top of the property along the stone wall and I see this massive animal, and at first I'm thinking 'That's a big dog.' I'm like, 'Oh my God. That is not a dog, that is a cat. That is a huge cat,'" the man, who did not want to be named, told KHON.

The man tried to get photos of the cat, but it was so far away -- and he was a little shaken -- that the images are blurry. He then grabbed a gun and fired a shot to scare it off.

"As soon as it jumped -- I mean this thing maybe five, six feet up in the air, as well as out almost 30 feet," the man told KHON. "I've never seen anything like that. I mean, cats can jump but I've never seen a big cat jump."

Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources is now investigating. Officials have set up cameras in the area, hoping to catch a glimpse of the cat.

At this point, officials can't identify the animal but they suspect that it was illegally brought to the island.

"Definitely not something from here, smuggled in somehow if it is what we think it is, it doesn’t belong and we’ll take steps to remove it if we confirm it," DLNR Wildlife Biologist Kanalu Sproat told KHON.

Hawaii law prohibits the ownership of wildcats including lynxes, jaguars, ocelots, pumas, bobcats and leopards. Anyone convicted of transporting, owning or possessing an illegal animal faces three years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images