Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Is Maui’s Big Cat Back?

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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Maui Now stock photo.

Mr. Mayor,

Q: I was staying in Kapalua at one of the resorts over the Memorial Day weekend when I swear I saw a large cat-like creature on the property one morning. (No I wasn’t drunk, nor had I been drinking) The resort
workers assured me that there are no such animals on Maui and suggested that maybe I saw a stray dog.


But then I heard later that this isn’t the first time someone saw a large cat on Maui, and that reports of a stray cougar had been made in the past. Is this true? I just want


Is this true? I just want to be able to prove to the resort guys that I wasn’t crazy.

A: Ah yes, the fabled “Maui Cat.” I haven’t heard about this one for a few years but these are mostly stories that have been going on around Maui for the last three or four decades.

I believe people may have reported seeing a big cat-like creature in the Upcountry area as recently as the early 2000’s.


We actually had some cat wildlife biologists come here to see if there was some sort of big cat out there, which might have been an escaped pet perhaps because they aren’t native to Hawai‘i.

I don’t believe there was any evidence found that it existed.

Don’t feel bad: The Maui Cat is our version of Bigfoot so I’m guessing you won’t be the last to report a sighting.

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