On Wednesday morning, a woman in Atlanta, Georgia woke up in fear after an exotic African cat sneaked into her house and jumped onto her bed.
Christine Frank, who lives near Brookhaven in Atlanta, told the news media that the cat entered her house after her husband opened the door to take their dog outside.
“I was lying on the bed and I heard a bang on the bed,” Frank said, according to reports WTHR news. She opened her eyes and found a serval, a large spotted wild cat native to sub-Saharan Africa, only 6 inches from her face. “It’s big. It’s scary.”
Frank said that she screamed and quickly picked up the cat from the bed. The animal then shrank in the corner, and Frank slowly exited the room and asked her husband to help.
“I said,’That’s not an ordinary domestic cat. I don’t know what it is, but I’m scared now,'” she recalled, according to CNNFrank’s husband then opened a bedroom door to the outdoors, allowing the cat to leave the house safely when the photo was taken.
After the incident, Frank recalled that the animal, about two and a half feet tall, could be a bobcat or a little leopard. She immediately called the Animal Control Center, who asked her to contact the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As of Saturday, DNR authorities are still looking for the wandering cat.
Lieutenant Wayne Hubbard of DNR told the news media that the African serval is likely someone’s pet, even though it is illegal to own a feral cat in Georgia.
According to WTHR, “They are very popular in the pet trade,” Hubbard said.
DNR stated that the authorities are setting up traps in nearby areas. Once the cat is caught, the Animal Legal Protection Fund (ALDF) plans to put it in an animal sanctuary. Alicia Prygoski, ALDF’s senior legislative affairs manager, told CNN that the loose serval reflects why wild cats should not be legally owned as pets.
“Wildcats are not suitable for private ownership,” Prygoski said. “The wild cat trade in this country is indeed not well regulated. This has caused many types of wild cats, including servals, to live their lives in private houses, and these environments are inappropriate for their natural behavior. of.”
Prygoski added: “When law enforcement wants to arrest her, we hope she can be placed in an approved shelter, where she can spend the rest of her life in a suitable habitat.”
Prygoski said anyone who sees a serval should stay away from the cat and contact animal control or DNR. At the same time, Frank worried that wild cats might re-enter the house or pose a danger to other members of the community.
“It still scares me because that cat is illegal, and it’s illegal. So I really don’t know what it can do,” Frank told CNN.
Weekly newspaper DNR was contacted for more comments, but did not respond to the publication in time.