Illinois family reunited with pet bobcat ‘Capone’ after court battle

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SWANSEA, Ill. – Following a two-month fight in court, a Swansea family has been reunited with their pet bobcat 'Capone' after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources confiscated the animal.

Lakesha Mayweather had a state-issued fur-bearing animal breeders permit. She believed that allowed her to keep the bobcat, but she was nevertheless cited for keeping a dangerous pet and importing live game without a permit so she went to court.

“They said I needed a USDA permit, so I got that. Then, once we presented that on the 13th of November, they said still they weren’t going to honor it,” she said.

One of the requirements for the USDA exhibitors permit is that you have to put on at least two demonstrations a year.

Mayweather said it was because Swansea initially took issue with the permits but it was eventually resolved after she pleaded guilty Tuesday to keeping a dangerous animal. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the judge waved the importing charge but ordered her to pay a $50 fine as well as the animal's boarding costs, which totaled $3,562.14.

Capone then went back to the Mayweathers’ home.

"He is so good," Mayweather told the paper. "He’s back to the way he was before, kind of like he never left our house."

After everything she went through, however, Mayweather said she wouldn’t want to do this again and wouldn’t suggest anybody else in Illinois try it.

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