The Portage County Sheriff's Department is asking residents to keep a close eye on their livestock as several reported panther sightings have residents in Mantua anxious.
Portage County Sheriff David Doak says multiple reports have surfaced regarding sightings of the feline.
"Four or five people tell us that they've seen this animal," Doak said.
"They've described it as a large black cat."
The Sheriff's office cannot confirm if the animal is indeed a panther because they haven't seen any photos of it. He believes the mystery cat was a pet that someone released.
Sheriff Doak says people shouldn’t panic if they come in contact with the animal.
"Don't run from it, stay in groups, and keep an eye on your children," he says.
The Sheriff's Department has been in contact with the Department of Natural Resources and they say that the big cats generally won't approach humans.
"These cats will be afraid of humans most of the time and they'll run from you, but don't run from it, because their first instinct is to chase," said Sheriff David Doak.
The Sheriff's office says there have been no reports of any downed livestock in the Manuta area.
If anyone is to see the animal, they should contact law enforcement and take a photo if possible.