Woman asking for help capturing pet African serval on the loose in Ahwatukee
AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The search is on for an exotic cat roaming loose in an Ahwatukee Foothills neighborhood. Some residents say there’s a Facebook neighborhood group where people speculate it’s a bobcat, but Arizona’s Family confirmed it’s not. The cat is an African Serval and belongs to a woman visiting family in Arizona. However, the animal escaped last week near 40th Street and Chandler Boulevard.
“It feels like a child running away. It truly like I lost a child right now. Knowing that there’s coyotes around here. I’m really scared,” said Crystal Barroga, the cat’s owner.
Barroga, who’s visiting the state from Nevada, says she brought her cat, 3-year-old Bagheera. However, Barroga says her pet isn’t used to the environment, so she escaped from a window last week. “I assume she heard a bird and she tried grabbing it or getting it. She made a hole, and that’s how she got out,” said Barroga.
Bagheera has been spotted a few times, and one neighbor even captured her on video. It shows Bagheera going toward the door and smelling around it before leaving.
Neighbors we spoke to said they don’t see Bagheera as dangerous. “I think unless we see otherwise, I say we treat it like a pet. Hopefully, they find it soon,” said neighbor Jesse Boyle.
Under the Arizona code for Game and Fish, alligators, crocodiles, bears, large primates, and big cats are a few illegal animals to own without a proper license or permit. However, officials say they checked out Barroga’s case and said Bagheera is legal to have as a pet. Barroga says her cat is vaccinated, chipped and declawed.
“She’s harmless. She’s not going to eat your cats or fight your dogs. She’s very loving, but she does hiss and tries to look aggressive if you come to her,” said Barroga.
Barroga is asking neighbors to help her reunite with her beloved cat so they can go home together. “If you guys do see her, don’t shoot her. Don’t do anything to hurt her. I’m begging you because she’s like my child,” said Barroga.
If you have any information about Bagheera’s whereabouts, you can call Barroga at 623-203-4956 or 602-999-2027.
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