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Serval on the loose in British Columbia after two escape

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The owners of two African servals in British Columbia said one of the cats was captured and another remains on the loose after the animals escaped in what might have been an attempted theft.

Bill Edwards and Laurel Bablitz said they believe someone intentionally opened the servals' cage Sunday in their Qualicum Beach yard.

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"You have to really work at it because it's not easy to open. It was not left open. It was an early morning release," Bablitz told CTV News.

The couple said the servals may have fled during an attempted theft.

The pair said one of the cats, a male, has been successfully recaptured and returned to their home, but the female remains on the loose. They said the exotic feline is believed to be pregnant.

"We're really hurting about this," Edwards said. "They're $20,000 cats. They're our pets."

The BC Conservation Officer Service said officials are aware of the situation, but servals are legal to keep as pets in the province.

"As they are considered domestic pets and not wildlife, this falls outside the mandate of the COS," the COS said in a statement to Chek News. "The COS received a call from the owner of the servals and provided advice, which included contacting animal control officers or the BC SPCA for assistance."

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