Monika P. (62) has already observed robins, bats and green woodpeckers in her garden. An African big cat was added on Wednesday!
The pensioner from Stadtlohn (North Rhine-Westphalia) came home around 3 p.m. when a neighbor called: “Look out of your kitchen window!”
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What the woman did not recognize in the first shock: the animal was a serval, an African big cat – and not unlike a young leopard.
Police officers arrived shortly afterwards, followed by fire fighters, employees of the public order office, a hunter, a veterinarian and the ambulance service. “The whole garden was full, the street was cordoned off. The police were afraid that the serval could run away and injure someone, ”said Monika. The helpers surrounded the serval and held a net around the unusual visitor for hours.
Then came serval expert Michael G. (54). He used his soothing voice and anesthetic, then caught the big cat with a net. The animal is now sitting in the quarantine enclosure of an animal rescue center in Witten (North Rhine-Westphalia).
But where did it come from? Research showed: The Serval comes from the Dutch town of Winterswijk, about 20 kilometers away, and ran away from its owner there. He had kept the serval like a pet, even walked him in town! It is not yet clear when the animal will return home.