An exotic-looking African serval cross cat was shot dead in a Detroit neighborhood after it escaped its owner's house and was confused for a wild animal.
The 2-feet 25-pound feline is a Savannah, a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat that is reportedly known for its stripes and spots which reminisce of a wild feline. The cat's name was Chum.
Chum's body was found dead inside a trash can Monday evening after numerous neighbors called the Michigan Humane Society and Detroit Police to inform them that the feline was seen roaming, but both entities failed to look into the matter.
Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek, with Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue, told WWJ Newsradio 950 that Chum ran away from its owner's home about a month ago through a screened window.
"We have been out there day and night, trying to set traps out to get this cat,” Wilhelm-Bruzek said, adding that she was told by reporters Saturday that the cat had died.
The feline was reportedly shot dead by a neighbor who thought its exotic look meant it was dangerous.
“It was simply ignorance. A Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat, and that is it," Wilhelm-Bruzek said. "They’re larger cats, they’re very beautiful, they have a lot of stripes and spots, which I think was more intimidating to people than even the size of the cat, because the cat wasn’t overly huge, about 25 pounds and maybe when it was sitting was probably two feet tall. But they’re very sweet animals, they’re kind of like the dog of the cat world.”
Wilhelm-Bruzek also dismissed rumors that the cat was ever a threat to the neighborhood.
“They’re totally legal pets. As long as they’re cared for and socialized properly from a young age, they’re wonderful animals. They’re legal exotic pets,” she said.