Second serval is discovered on the prowl in West Seattle
After one of the wild African cats was discovered a month ago in the crawl space of a West Seattle house, another of the exotic cats was captured last weekend wandering a nearby schoolyard.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A month after a serval was found in a crawl space of a West Seattle home, another of the sleek and spotted exotic cats was found wandering around school property about 10 blocks away last weekend.
Don Baxter, an enforcement supervisor at Seattle Animal Shelter, said it was the first time in about five years that he recalls seeing a serval wandering the city, where these types of wild cats are illegal.
Last Saturday afternoon, the animal shelter received calls from people reporting what they believed was a baby cheetah or leopard cub walking the grounds of Madison Middle School, at 3429 45th Avenue Southwest.
It was actually a long-legged male serval, a cat native to Africa, that was about 9 to 12 months old, Baxter said.
Only weeks prior, animal control had been called to the same neighborhood to a report of a different wild cat. They found a female serval of about the same age as the male in a crawl space under a house.
Both cats were held for 72 hours with the city, Baxter said, and then taken to a wildlife sanctuary on the Eastside.
No owner has come forward to claim the cats, but Baxter said it appears they were kept as pets together.
Left to roam free in the streets, servals probably would hunt for rodents or rabbits and potentially go after pets, he said.
"We just can't have wild, exotic cats roaming the streets of Seattle," he said.
In February 2003, a male and female serval were found unattended in North Seattle.
Mary Leake Schilder, a spokeswoman for Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), said that servals are mainly purchased online by exotic cat breeders.
"Exotic animals like that have certainly become more popular as pets in the last decade or so," she said. "These exotic pets are simply wild animals from other countries, so they do not make good pets."
Baxter said the servals will likely continue to live at the animal sanctuary.
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Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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