FRANKLIN, Va.—The exotic African cat that escaped from its owner’s house has been spotted again in Virginia, this time more than 150 miles from its North Carolina home.
The exotic cat spotted in Virginia this past April after escaping from its North Carolina home has been seen again, still evading capture:https://t.co/Xfr8efSsHJ
— WHSVnews (@WHSVnews) June 21, 2019
The cat’s owner previously told news outlets his pet, Rocky, escaped from his coastal North Carolina home in October. Owner Brian Hankins is traveling north to help city workers capture him. Hankins says Rocky is very friendly.
Rocky has been on the move and evading capture, spotted in cities across Virginia—first, in a state park in April, later in rural Chesapeake and just this week near Suffolk. The Virginian-Pilot reported June 20 that animal control officials say the serval cat roamed from his owner’s house to Virginia Beach, a distance of about 80 miles.
A Virginia Beach animal control agent told The Virginian-Pilot she has spent hours trying to trap the elusive cat. But African servals are known for their athleticism, both in their ability to travel over 20 miles a day, and being able to run 50 mile per hour.
African servals are known for their athleticism, both in their ability to travel over 20 miles a day and being able to run 50 mph. https://t.co/U2nn3PVbI1
— 8News WRIC Richmond (@8NEWS) June 22, 2019
Serval cats can stand up to 2 feet high and weigh as much as 40 pounds. The lanky, spotted cats have long necks and large ears.
Animal Control supervisor Meghan Conti said Rocky likely traveled up the Atlantic Coast and ate a fair share of seagulls along the way. The route includes parks and wildlife refuges.
Escaped Pet Pig Slaughtered by ‘Helpful’ Neighbor
In another missing animal story, a California family’s missing pet pig was found but while police went to get the animal’s owners, someone slaughtered their beloved pet.
Princess the pig—a 400-pound sow—had escaped her enclosure at owner Carrie Hogan’s mother’s house in Arcata, California, on March 23, according to MailOnline.
The pig wandered around the neighborhood and was spotted by locals.
Humboldt Paws Cause, a lost and found pets service in Humboldt County, California, posted photos of the missing pig on its Facebook page.
UPDATE:Owner found"It was one of our students. It’s under control. Thanks everyone"KellyLOOSE AND WANDERINGFickle…
“Found a massive pig in our yard this morning up Fickle Hill,” Humboldt Paws Cause wrote, citing an individual named Brianne.
A lively discussion ensued about animals on the loose and whether the missing animal was a pot-bellied pig or someone’s 4H/FFA youth development project.
It seemed all was settled when commenter Kelly Miller confirmed “It was one of our students. It’s under control. Thanks everyone,” and Humboldt Paws Cause updated its post, “Piggy is now in custody of APD. Please contact them if this is your pig!”
The story, however, took an unexpected turn.
According to the Lost Coast Outpost, an Arcata Police Department deputy responded to a sighting of Princess in someone’s yard. The officer asked the property owner if he wouldn’t mind keeping the pig in his yard until the police tracked down the animal’s owner. The individual obliged.
When the officer returned about an hour later to retrieve Princess, however, the animal had already been butchered.
“Obviously that was a bit of a shock to everyone involved. … Given the stage of the butchering process he was in, he must have slaughtered the pig very shortly after the officer left,” Dockweiler said, SF Gate reported.
The police told SF Gate that the man who slaughtered the pig was not the neighbor they had come to an arrangement with, but someone else who was on the man’s property with his permission.
APD Chief Brian Ahearn said it’s hard to believe what happened.
“We were totally shocked and surprised to learn that the pig had been slaughtered,” Ahearn said, adding, “there was no reason to believe that that individual was going to do that.”
Carrie Hogan, the pig’s owner, was horrified Princess had been butchered.
The Hogan family had raised the animal since it was a piglet.
Chief Ahearn said prosecutors at the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office would determine whether Princess’s killing amounts to a punishable crime.
“We’re evaluating whether there was a crime. We believe there was,” he said.
The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.