STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A pet bobcat that kept escaping its southern New Jersey home is going to a zoo.
A judge in Stafford Township on Friday ordered Rocky’s owner to relinquish ownership of her wayward pet.
Rocky has been the subject of an ongoing legal fight between Ginny Fine and town officials because of its repeated escapes from Fine’s home in Manahawkin.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, Fine looked upset as she walked up to a judge to permanently surrender Rocky to the Popcorn Park Zoo, where he had been staying since his last escape.
“Some things are not meant to be. Rocky in your household is one of those things,” Judge Damien Murray said.
Fine pleaded guilty to letting the animal run at large in October. She was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $560 in restitution.
Fine has said Rocky is a hybrid of a bobcat and Maine coon cat. But DNA tests were inconclusive. She would have needed a special permit if Rocky was a purebred.
Back in September, Fine said she didn’t think Rocky would bolt again. She promised the judge she would rebuild his outdoor pen and put a double enclosure in her entrance way.
She said that if he did escape she would surrender her beloved pet.
Rocky has been on the lam at least 8 times, and has put some residents on edge.
“I really don’t want to talk to anyone right now,” Fine said.
“She took every effort she could to keep the animal at bay. I mean the hybrid bobcat is not a vicious animal. It was declawed,” Fine’s attorney Curtis Dowell said.
Rocky has been at the zoo since October, and likes to stay high up when stranger are around. The director of the zoo said he is getting used to his new surroundings that include a big pen and an indoor space.
Fine said she plans to continue visiting Rocky in the zoo, and said he is more than just a pet.
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