Exotic pet cat on the loose in Virginia roamed from NC home

Published 5:01 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A big African cat has been prowling around Virginia’s largest city.

The Virginian-Pilot reported last Thursday that animal control officials say the serval cat roamed from his owner’s house on the Outer Banks to Virginia Beach, a distance of about 80 miles (129 kilometers).

The cat named Rocky disappeared from Kitty Hawk in October. Owner Brian Hankins traveled north to help city workers capture him. Hankins says Rocky is very friendly.

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Serval cats can stand up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) high and weigh as much as 40 pounds (18 kilograms). The lanky, spotted cats have long necks and large ears.

Animal Control supervisor Meghan Conti said Rocky likely traveled up the Atlantic Coast and ate a fair share of seagulls along the way. The route includes parks and wildlife refuges.