A photo was pasted on a local notice board about a possible cougar in the area. As it turns out it is not a cougar but an exotic cat.
This photo taken just after noon, at around 12:15 on Dec. 14 around Otter Point Place.
The couple who spotted it has this to say.”
The “cat” was heading east at quite a fast clip. A friend suggested it is possibly a African serval.
“This gorgeous cat walked along the road in front of our house today. Doesn’t look like a cougar to us, unless it’s some kind of hybrid, but what is it?”questioned a couple on Otter Point Place. The following includes some of the emails sent on this subject and they pretty much tell the story.
“Ken was the one who saw the animal first. Thinking it was probably a cougar and not wanting to encourage it with Maggy (our cat) and other dogs and cats around, I went out on deck, which frightened it into the hedge over the road, so we assumed it had snuck off behind the hedge. However, about 10 minutes later it reappeared and started walking quickly straight along the road, so Ken “rushed” to find my camera and took the photo from the deck. I pasted a photo on our local notice board,” said the couple who took the photo but didn’t want to be identified.
“Friend Steve Holland, who is a retired science teacher and now lives in Ucluelet, did some enhancement on our photo and we sent this and his website identification and their photo on to our circle of interested folk. He also came up with all sorts of information on this cat and it certainly sounds as if it’s just asking for trouble to try to have one as a pet (not to mention illegal!).
“We have also been told that someone in our area lost an exotic animal during the summer and, if this is the one, it seems it was not declawed (nor had its teeth ground down as apparently can happen to some poor cats) as it did not seem to be in bad shape (though I have not yet heard of any livestock disappearances in the area).”
The latest is that the cat was hit by a truck driven by Peter Henry.
It is not the first time the serval, named Samson, has escaped.
Serval cats are bred in captivity and often cross-bred with domestic cats. It is illegal to allow them to be free and in many municipalities they are a restricted species.
If left in the wild they will adapt to their environment and become a wild species again.
Sooke bylaws do not allow “wild or exotic animals anywhere in the district, but the list does not include the African serval.