Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Another pet serval cat escapes this time in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Yet another pet serval cat has escaped someone's home in North America. In this instance it happened in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. So, it isn't just the Americans who like to keep pet servals; sometimes Canadians do it as well but wherever they are it's a mistake.

Click this link to see a series of pages on many serval cats escapes. It is almost endemic in the US as there are too many pet servals confined to the home where the cat has one objective: to bloody well escape! It is madness and very cruel to keep a serval confined to a house.

This medium-sized wildcat, the serval, does not make a good pet. They are too large and although they can be tamed they cannot be truly domesticated and therefore they behave like a medium-sized wildcat at a zoo but the problem is they are in your home where they might spray urine against the walls. 

And you may have to declaw the animal because when they slap your wrist or hand injure you. And declawing a serval is a very cruel operation. The whole process of pet servals is a mistake in my honest opinion.

The story today on this escaped serval is that they ended up on the streets of west-end Halifax last Sunday where a pedestrian, Rachel Smith, photographed it at the corner of Sunset Avenue and Withrod Drive having a bit of a face-off with a house cat who escaped to high ground as you can see in the photograph.

Serval escapes in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Serval escapes in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Image: Rachel Smith.

Thankfully, this particular serval was captured by animal control and animal rescue volunteers on Monday afternoon and they are taking good care of the animal. That isn't always the outcome as you might imagine. Sometimes somebody with a gun just shoots the cat because they are frightened of them.

A serval roaming around the streets of the United States in particular is in great danger because there are a lot of firearms in America and a lot of itchy fingers wanting to pull the trigger. If they see what they believed to be a wild cat in suburbia, in a public place, they might feel tempted to shoot it to protect the public without realising that the cat is tame and probably not a danger.

Or perhaps the police get called out and they shoot the cat which is the kind of thing they would do in order to protect the public!

Unsurprisingly, the serval is listed as prohibited under Nova Scotia's Wildlife Act and therefore they cannot be kept as a pet in a home. It is almost certain that in every corner of North America the server will be prohibited as a pet or you will need a licence to keep the animal as a pet. And if a licence is required you will need to have facilities to properly look after the cat and there will be regular inspections to ensure that you maintain the proper standards.

This points to the simple conclusion that servals are not really meant to be pet. It isn't people like me who say they shouldn't be pets, it is also the authorities in North America who agree with me.

It has been suggested by the author of the article that I am reading that the serval in question might have been bred in Ontario where it would be legal and then imported into Nova Scotia which is illegal.

People like to possess exotic pets. They romanticise the idea of looking after and living with an exotic animal such as the serval but reality pretty quickly clicks in and there is not much romance in in such a relationship. You have to be experienced and committed and have good knowledge plus good facilities. Keeping them in the home like a domestic cat isn't going to work. A lot of pet servals are given up to zoos or to breeders.

Rob Laidlaw, the founder of Zoocheck, said that a lot of people don't realise that they are wild animals but think of them as big house cats which they are not. And servals, he said, are known to be good escape artists. I would agree that because I have reported on numerous serval escapes. I would like to refer you to the above link if you would like to read about them.

If there is an opportunity for the serval to escape they will. This puts a lot of pressure on the owner to keep them confined. It is easy to make a mistake for a brief moment and then the serval will be out the door and away. They can run at 45-50 miles an hour!

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