Escaped cougar still at large CENTER POINT — A cougar scaled a 14-foot fence to escape a western Indiana preserve and remained at large Sunday, apparently leaving behind the remains of two raccoons it had killed, a conservation officer said Sunday. The 8- or 9-year-old wildcat, which is tan in color and weighs about 80 pounds, escaped the Exotic Feline Rescue Center on Friday and eluded a tracker over the weekend, Max Winchell of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said Sunday. The cat may pose a threat to any persons that approach it because, although having been born in the wild, it has been in captivity and may not fear humans, Winchell said. Law enforcement officials asked the public not to go to the area and attempt to view or locate the animal, Winchell said. “It’s very elusive,” Winchell said. The wildcat was believed to still be on the grounds of the preserve, which sprawls across more than 100 acres and holds nearly 200 exotic cats under a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s located about 50 miles west of Indianapolis. A retired USDA employee, Bryce Finny of Indianapolis, was trying to track and tranquilize the cougar, Winchell said. The USDA, while not responsible for the recapture of the cougar, may send additional personnel this week, Winchell said. While it’s illegal to kill protected exotic animals, people have the right to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened, Winchell said. State conservation officers have received numerous reports of sightings of exotic cats over the past two months in Clay, Vigo and Putnam counties, although there have been no other reports of escapes, Winchell said. “This is the first one,” he said.