Entries in Backyard (2)


Leopard Killed in Indiana Backyard

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(CHARLESTOWN, Ind.) -- An Indiana woman trying to protect her cats from wild animal attacks was stunned to discover that the animal she and her boyfriend shot, thinking it was a bobcat prowling in her backyard, was actually a leopard, and now authorities are trying to determine how it got there.

Officials at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirmed that a leopard, which is not native to North America — let alone Indiana — was found at the woman’s residence in Charlestown. The DNR is investigating where the animal might have come from.

Donna Duke, a friend and neighbor of the woman who found the leopard, told ABC affiliate WDRB-TV in Louisville, Ky., that the woman had been concerned about her cats after a spate of attacks on pets in her area.

“She’s got cats that are basically her family,” Duke told WDRB.

According to Duke, the woman and her boyfriend stayed up all night Thursday to determine whether there was a bobcat loose in their area. When they saw the big cat in the woods at the edge of her property, the woman’s boyfriend shot and killed the animal before it could get any closer, not realizing it was a leopard.

Residents of Indiana are allowed to own exotic large cats but they must have a permit. The owner of a local wildlife refuge center located near the woman’s home told WDRB-TV that none of his animals were missing.

Anyone with information on the animal can contact the Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch at (812) 837-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR.

On Friday, an employee at an exotic feline rescue center in western Indiana was seriously injured in a tiger attack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pennsylvania Teen Finds Bomb in Backyard

Tyler Varve(JONESTOWN, Pa.) -- Tyler Varvel, 14, was working in his Jonestown, Pa., yard when a strange-looking object caught his eye. “I was spraying weeds on the side of the property and I saw something shiny,” he said. “I thought it was a bar or a metal stake or something like that.”

“I flicked it up with my shoe not thinking it was a bomb.”

But that’s exactly what it was, a World War II-era bomb buried in the middle of the small town. Upon realizing what the object was, Tyler backed off right away. “I called my mother immediately,” he said, adding, “It was buried about 4 or 5 inches in, it looked like something you’d see in a movie or something, sort of like a little torpedo.”

Tyler’s mother, Lora, who happened to be driving by the police station at the time, stopped and went in, showing officers a photo of the bomb that Tyler had snapped on his cellphone. Police then contacted state authorities who sprang in to action, arriving at the home even before Tyler’s mother.

As military police examined the bomb, which they later determined to have an injury radius of up to 300 yards, they warned family to stay away. “They said, ‘Well, you need to step back, you need to get back a little further, maybe go up by the house,’” Lora Varvel, said, adding that discoveries of old military explosives were not uncommon in the area.

“Neighbors have found things before, like old grenades,” she said.

It’s unclear where the bomb came from.

Fortunately for the Varvels, members of the State Police Bomb Detection and Disposal Unit discovered that the bomb was inert and not a live round. But the memory of the incident is going to stick with the family.

When asked whether she thought she’d be finding any other explosive devices in the yard, Lori Varvel said, “Not really but it does make you think.”

In the meantime, however, the Varvels have put plans to plant shade trees in the backyard on hold.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio