For more than a week, police in Reading, Pennsylvania received numerous reports of a cheetah-like African cat running through the streets of Reading, Pennsylvania. When animal control officers tracked down the strange visitor, they originally thought the cat was a cheetah.
According to the Facebook page of the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, reports about the cat sightings began on Saturday. Authorities confirmed the cat was an African Serval, and are illegal to own in Pennsylvania without a license. Berks County officials states no one in the county is licensed to own one, but this assuredly had been someone’s pet. The one-year-old female was very friendly and declawed. Most likely she had been raised in a home since having been a kitten.
Tom Hubric, the executive director of the Animal Rescue League said the cat could be worth in excess of $20,000 on the black market as a breeder, and the owner of the cat may have wanted to mate her with a domestic cat meant to produce a Savannah cat which are legal to own in most counties and states.
On Thursday, the beautiful cat was transferred to a big cat wildlife sanctuary where she will be given the expert care she needs.
“African Serval cats are wild animals and like all wild animals, they belong in the wild, not in someone’s house. Servals require very specialized care and diets. They require large outdoor enclosures and more exercise than their human owners will likely want to provide. They look like giant domestic cats but don’t be fooled by the appearance, this is an animal that requires a tremendous commitment to own as well as a special license that takes two-years of training to obtain. They are strikingly beautiful animals no doubt but they are wild and belong in their proper home…in Africa.”
And while everyone is “oohing and aahing” at this beautiful cat, why not visit the Animal Rescue League of Berks County and adopt a domestic beauty critically in need of a home. Do it in honor of this gorgeous gal.
(Photos of Cheetah-like African cat via Animal Rescue League of Berks County)
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