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17 July 2010, JellyBean @ 6:20 pm

Authorities fear a big cat, perhaps a cougar, may be roaming the Cedar Point area in Bay St. Louis in Hancock County.

‘‘I was raised in Hancock County, and the old people used to talk about the panthers — the big cats,’’ city animal control Officer Dorty Necaise said Tuesday.

Now, talk of the big cats has returned, brought about by sighting reports and the death of a small dog that was mauled in the vicinity recently.

Deputy Police Chief Mike De Nardo said a family on July 8 reported that their miniature schnauzer had been attacked and killed by a larger animal.

‘‘The owners heard the dog yapping. They went outside and saw a large creature dragging the dog off,’’ he said.

Read more: Natchez Democrat

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