File this one away. Did you guess what it would be that was probing the bushes of Anchorage?
The Mystery Cat around and about the 50th state in recent weeks has been captured alive by a man using a dipnet, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and James Halpin of the Daily News:
The animal was at first thought to be a serval, a wild, medium-sized African cat that is illegal in Alaska. Turns out it is a savannah cat, a mix of a serval and a domestic cat that is legal, said wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott.
The cat, whose name is Simon, had actually been missing since last spring from its owners’ home in the Kincaid Park area, Sinnott said.
In the time since, it has sporadically popped up around town, causing double-takes and looks of disbelief from Point Woronzof to Fort Richardson on the Glenn Highway.
The animal was finally pinned down at a man’s home between the Glenn and Russian Jack Springs Park, Sinnott said [on November 7]. Using a dipnet, the man scooped up the year-old animal and brought it to Fish and Game.
“As far as I can tell, that’s a legal animal, so I gave it back to her with a warning not to let it go again,” Sinnott said.
Thanks to kittenz for the heads up, who also added:
“As it turns out, this cat is a Savannah cat – a fairly recent hybrid ‘breed’ developed by crossing servals (Felis serval or Leptailurus serval) with domestic cats (Felis catus), including Bengals. Savannahs are considered to be domestic cats and are legal to own in Alaska (unless a local ordinance prevents it). Servals, on the other hand, are not legal to own as pets in Alaska, but can be legally owned for scientific or educational use (such as a zoo), provided the owner has the required permits.”
The classic pose of the savannah cat.
One of A1 Savannahs playing in the yard.