Pair of escaped servals kill domestic cat on Vancouver Island

Oct 6 2022, 4:37 pm

A pair of servals got loose on Vancouver Island this week and killed a domestic cat while roaming around the neighbourhood.

The BS SCPA said it’s aware of the two escaped servals in the Regional District of Nanaimo near Qualicum Beach.

“These wild cats are not much bigger than a medium-size dog, but they still retain their wild instincts and are cunning escape artists,” the BC SPCA said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, the servals have already killed a domestic cat — residents should remain vigilant and keep dogs on-leash while walking, and keep domestic cats indoors or in secure enclosures.”

Servals are wild cats found in Africa but are sometimes kept as exotic pets — which is technically allowed in BC, although it’s discouraged.

Catching the animals has been difficult since it’s not within the mandate of any of the region’s wildlife control organizations.

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it falls outside their jurisdiction since the animals are technically pets and not wildlife. The service confirmed it’s spoken with the servals’ owners and advised them to contact animal control or the BC SPCA.

A worker with Coastal Animal Services who declined to give her name told Daily Hive the animal control service only deals with dogs, and hasn’t been helping the effort to recapture the cats — one of which was apparently spotted in a neighbour’s yard this morning.

CHEK News reports that one of the servals, a male, has already been caught and returned to its owners. The local news agency, which has spoken to the cats’ owners, said the pregnant female cat remains on the loose.

Daily Hive has reached out to one of the cat’s owners for more details.

carole baskin serval

BCCOS/Twitter | Carole Baskin/Facebook

This is the second time this year an escaped serval has caused a stir in BC. Back in May, a serval escaped from its owner’s house in Vancouver and a scared neighbour phoned it in as a cougar sighting.

The cat was captured and returned to its owners, and at the time conservation officers said it was a Savannah cat — a cross between a serval and a domestic cat. But Carole Baskin, the famous big-cat advocate from Netflix’s Tiger King, weighed in on Twitter saying conservation officers were either mistaken or lying — that the cat was, in fact, a serval.

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