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Old July 18th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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Woman arrested for keeping exotic animals; pets included Canadian lynx captured in No

By T&D Staff

SWANSEA - A woman arrested Wednesday for keeping exotic animals at her home near Sandy Run reportedly owned the Canadian lynx, or bobcat, captured under the town of North's water tower on May 3.

Lexington County Animal Control officers seized several big cats, including cougars, at the home of 37-year-old Abbie Lynn Cochran on July 14.

Cochran was arrested for keeping the animals as pets. She was held at the Lexington County Detention Center before a judge set her bond at $7,000, and she posted the bond and was released.

According to Lexington Animal Control, Cochran was fined $400 in 2002 when officers removed two lions she was keeping as pets from her home. One of the lions had gotten loose and was roaming the neighborhood.

On Wednesday, officers seized three adult cougars, two bobcats and two cougar cubs. It is illegal to have the animals, and Cochran is being charged under Lexington County's exotic animal ordinance.

Bill O'Cain, owner of O'Cain's Exotic Animals on the North Road near Wolfton, confirmed Thursday that Cochran was the owner of the Canadian lynx, a type of bobcat, that he helped capture in North back in May. The cat had been living under the town's water tower.

After helping trap the animal, O'Cain converted a chicken coop at his petting zoo to house the Canadian lynx until Cochran came to reclaim it.

O'Cain said Cochran owned a pair of the big cats and that the other lynx had also escaped and is probably still at large.
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