African cat caught in dipnet in Anchorage

Posted: Sunday, November 09, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A large cat seen prowling around Anchorage in recent weeks has been caught by a man using a dipnet.

It turns out it's a savannah cat, a mix between a wild African cat and a domestic cat, that has been missing from its owners' home since last spring.

The Anchorage Daily News reported the catch Friday afternoon, citing the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The cat, named Simon, has spots like a leopard, and prompted some double-takes as it was seen around town. It was initially believed to be a serval, a wild African cat that's illegal to own in Alaska.

It is OK to own Savannah cats, however.

Wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott said the animal was pinned down at a man's home between the Glenn Highway and Russian Jack Springs Park. Using a dipnet, the man scooped up the year-old animal and brought it to Fish and Game, which returned it to its owner.

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