Reported cougar on the loose in Vancouver turns out to be large pet cat

May 18 2022, 9:57 pm

Vancouver police investigated a report that a cougar was on the loose in Vancouver Tuesday, but the caller turned out to be lion, er, mistaken.

Someone called police about a cougar in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, but officers who attended the scene soon found out the feline in question was a large Savannah cat — a cross between an African serval and domestic cat.

“A reported cougar sighting in Shaughnessy earlier today turned out to be a Savannah cat, which is a large house pet,” the Vancouver Police Department said in a tweet. “Officers captured the cat and returned it to its owner.”

Conservation officers helped police round up the striking spotted cat, the BC Conservation Officer Service tweeted. Savannah cats are not regulated under Controlled Alien Species regulations in BC.

“It wasn’t a cougar, cheetah, or 200-pound jaguar. It was a Savannah cat!” the service said. “We appreciate the public calling in tips so it could be safely reunited with its owner.”

Savannah cats are very tall, with the first generation of the cat-serval cross growing to nearly 17 inches in height. With each generation that’s further from the wild serval, the size of the Savannah cat gets smaller, according to the Savannah Cat Association.

The large pets are often spotted. While adult cougars have a brown or tawny coat, young kittens have spots until they’re about two years old.

Cougars are often seen in mountainous Metro Vancouver suburbs, but not in Vancouver itself.

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