Woman begs ‘don't shoot' her escaped exotic African cat, says it's domesticated

PELHAM, Ala. — Juno, the sub-Saharan African serval, is just like any other domesticated house cat, if you can get past the fact that he looks like a mini cheetah or a small leopard with big ears, according to his owner.

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Felicia Wilson is desperately trying to find the exotic feline and begging neighbors and authorities not to shoot him, if they come across the cat, according to ABC 33/40-TV.

"PLEASE DO NOT SHOOT:" A Pelham woman's domesticated African Serval named Juno escaped from her home this morning, and...

Posted by ABC 33/40 on Monday, April 30, 2018

The 8-month-old serval escaped from Wilson's home in Pelham, Alabama, on Monday morning, running out as Wilson's daughter opened the door to leave for school, ABC 33/40 reported.

"The police said, if push comes to shove, they will have no choice but to shoot him if they can't catch him," Wilson said.

The cat “is not a wild animal,” she said, and she asked people not to shoot him.

Wilson told ABC 33/40 that Juno won't hurt or attack people or other animals, but she believes he will run. She said a tranquilizer dart might be needed to catch him.

Servals are found in most parts of Africa and are common on savannas near water. They prefer areas of bush, tall grass and dry reed beds near streams, but they also live in high-altitude moorlands and bamboo thickets, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. They are valued on the black market for their spotted and stripped coats and are a target of hunters because of their tendency to attack poultry.