Police search for animal that killed a 50-year-old man.

Police search for animal that killed a 50-year-old man.
The México state Ministry of Education suspended classes indefinitely in 13 schools in Valle de Bravo after a resident of the municipality was killed by what is believed to have been a big cat.

A man of around 50 years of age was found dead on Sunday in the community of Cerro Gordo. The nature of the wounds found on his body have led authorities to believe that the attack was carried out by a species of large cat.

México state Governor Alfredo del Mazo Maza issued an alert for the communities of Cerro Gordo and El Pinal del Marquesado and urged residents not to go to the area where the attack occurred.

The Ministry of Education took the extreme measure of cancelling classes on Wednesday, announcing that the suspension is indefinite while authorities from the state Commission of National Parks and Forests (Cepanaf) search for the animal.

The suspension includes seven primary and six secondary schools.

State and municipal authorities are carrying out surveillance operations in the municipality.

"The municipal environmental department has already been in contact with specialized personnel from Cepanaf ... and [the federal environmental agency] Profepa with the aim of searching the area, finding the cat and taking it to a zoo," said Valle de Bravo Mayor Mauricio Osorio on his Facebook page.

Authorities took DNA samples of the animal found on the body to ascertain what type of feline might have carried out the attack. They also set up camera traps that will help obtain specific data in order to confirm the species.

In addition to agents from Cepanaf, Profepa and the Ministry of the Environment, there are also personnel from the National Protected Areas Commission, the México state Attorney General's Office and state and municipal Civil Protection in the area.

Marines and state police have also been deployed to the municipality to aid local police in security operations.

Source: Reforma (sp)