Exotic cat spotted trotting down street in Sooke

An Otter Point couple spotted an exotic cat in the area and wants to know where it came from.

Ken and Lesley Douch spotted what looked like an African serval trotting down Otter Point Place around noon on Saturday. They took a picture and sent it to local media and neighbours, advising them to be on the lookout.

article continues below

There was another sighting Sunday around 6:30 p.m. on West Coast Road.

African servals are a restricted species and are legal in most municipalities on the Island but that can vary based on a city’s exotic animal bylaws.

Doug Nelson, a Nanaimo cat breeder, said the serval could be the same one he sold to a Sooke resident. That serval escaped in August and couldn’t be recovered for several weeks.

The SPCA recovered the cat and returned it to the owner.

B.C. Conservation office said they have not received a report from anyone in the Sooke area about an escaped serval.

“There’s no excuse for losing a serval and not notifying anybody,” Nelson said. “It’s actually illegal to set them free, we don’t want them out there.”

Nelson sells all his servals with a tracking collar. The exotic cats sell for about $8,000.

Nelson has four servals that live inside his home as pets. Nelson said the cats can be domesticated and trained as house cats, but if they get out, they need to be recovered quickly because they would adapt and start preying on wild animals.

“These are pets, they’re very friendly and affectionate cats,” Nelson said. “They’re a non-aggressive cat but that changes if they’re out and they’re scared and they’re threatened.”

There has never been a report in North America of a serval attacking a person, he said.

Nelson recently set up a non-profit society aimed at rescuing the exotic cats from the wild.

Anyone who spots the exotic cat should call the Capital Regional District animal control at 250-478-0624.


Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Times Colonist welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Find out what's happening in your community.

Most Popular