Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Not exactly a 'Wordless Wednesday' but ...

Escaped 'cheetah' found in Reading is a different kind of cat (VIDEO)

(Written by Steven Henshaw)
It was not your average cat that was housed at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County the last five days after being plucked off the streets of Reading.

Tall and lean with black spots on her short, smooth fur, the nameless cat resembles a small cheetah.The kitty was described as "a majestic animal" by an official at the shelter in Cumru Township.Friday night, animal control officers were called by city police after dispatchers received a report of a cheetah running loose in the city, said Tom Hubric, ARL interim executive director. The ARL is the city's animal control agency.ARL personnel took her in and confirmed the 1- to 2-year-old feline was indeed an exotic animal: an African serval. "We've been working closely with state Game Commission," Hubric said. "This is a wild animal. This isn't something you can legally own unless you have a special license."

That's the reason officials didn't go public to seek its owner, and why, officials believe, no one has come looking for the cat."This animal's probably worth $20,000 to $30,000 on the black market," Hubric said.

Reading Eagle: Tim Leedy | An African serval rescued from the streets of Reading plays with a toy at the Animal League of Berks County.
Though the declawed cat isn't microchipped, it's clear it was someone's pet.

"She obviously was raised in a home as a kitten," Hubric said. "She appears to have been very well-cared for."Who would have such an expensive pet? Hubric has his suspicions."If you take a female serval, which is what she is, and you mate her with a domestic cat, that is then called a Savannah cat," he explained. "A Savannah cat is a legal cat you can own. You don't need a license. And those kittens are worth 10 grand a pop."ARL staff has bathed the big, playful cat with attention and affection.But all good things must end.This morning, the cat was handed over to a Game Commission wildlife conservation officer, who took the exotic animal to a large cat rescue organization.There, Hubric said, the serval, which can weigh about 30 pounds as an adult, will spend the rest of its life."She will be a cat that will be used for education and community outreach to promote why people shouldn't have exotic cats," Hubric said. "She'll spend the rest of her life in a healthy environment because this cat doesn't belong in your home."This cat requires extensive exercise. This animal needs a special diet. It's not something the average person is going to be able to take care of. But she's just a magnificent animal and she's captivated everyone who has seen her, and we've just been honored to have the time we've had with her."