Furry nuisance stirring township troubles?

'Fisher cat' sightings have Pennsauken on the prowl

Posted: June 13, 2014

Whither Pennsauken's fisher cat?

Whether the big weasel with good hair ever really was roaming this part of Camden County, or still is, remained a mystery Wednesday. The township's website still had the same message that it did before the weekend - that town officials were trying to confirm or deny that the animal was afoot.

Fisher cats might be more common north of here, but there have been documented sightings of the known-to-be combative creatures in New Jersey in the last several years. Hunted in the 1700s and 1800s for their fur, fishers can grow to be about four feet long and weigh up to 20 pounds.

The concern generated by Internet posts of alleged sightings was centered on fishers' tendency to hunt small animals, conceivably pets.

Bill Chester, president of the Pennsauken Republican Club, said his family had gotten a Facebook report of a sighting over the weekend by the CVS store on Maple Avenue and another possible viewing on Cove Road.

Before that, Chester said, another resident said a relative's dog had been attacked.

JoAnn Young, the club's secretary and a school board member, said she had been posting the alleged sightings on her Facebook page as she heard about them.

She said she personally had not seen anything that met the creature's description recently, but the reports have made her wonder.

"We had something up in a tree a year ago, a maple tree," Young said. "We never did find out what it was. It was too big to be a cat, but it wasn't the color of a raccoon."

Lately, Young said, the cat population in her area seems to have declined.

"There are less cats going through our yard," she said. "I don't know if this has anything to do with it."




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