Dear Virginia Beach Animal Control: Please inform the public not to shoot this serval for the ‘thrill of the kill’

A serval (exotic cat) is on the loose in the Virginia Beach area after escaping his owners home in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina last October.

serval cat
Rocky is used to being around dogs and people (Va. Beach Animal Control)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Hopefully, the NC to Virginia cat will have a better outcome. The biggest risk, as I see it, is too many people like to shoot things for ‘the thrill of the kill.’ Not to protect person or property but to have a good story to tell their buddies.

Virginia Beach Animal Control posted information about “Rocky” on their Facebook page two days ago

Good morning! By now we are sure that everyone has seen the various news articles regarding the Serval cat currently at large in our city.

We wanted to update everyone. We have located “Rocky’s” owner. Rocky has been missing from his home in Kitty Hawk, NC since October! He is wearing a GPS tracking collar, but unfortunately, that collars battery died about 3 days after he went missing, leaving his owner unable to track his whereabouts.

serval cat
Rocky the Serval (Va. Beach AC)

Rocky is a domesticated pet and is accustomed to being around dogs, people and children. He has been out on his own for a while now and is not likely to come up to people. He will hunt small mammals and birds and has been known to take a chicken or two.

There is a plan in place to set traps in an attempt to catch Rocky, his owner will be coming up to assist our officers.

We want everyone to be aware that he is in the area. Last known location is Shore Drive area, near the State Park. If anyone should see him please notify dispatch ASAP so we have a current location on him. 757-385-5000.

We will continue to keep everyone updated! Please mind your comments, we are aware that Rocky is a bit infamous in his area. Our number one concern right now is to safely capture him and get him home.

Thank you!!!

serval cat and dog friend
Rocky with his dog buddy (Va. Beach AC)

Rocky’s owner, Brian Hankins, describes his serval as very friendly. It’s believed he traveled up the Atlantic coast on his 80-mile journey and ate seagulls and small animals to survive since the area is perfectly suited to wildlife and animal refuges.

Traps have been set and wildlife trackers are doing their best to find Rocky. Although he’s used to being around humans, Virginia Beach police are urging people to stay away.

Unfortunately, police are known to shoot anything they feel is a threat, including a 30-pound cat. So do farmers who have to protect their chickens and other livestock. I fear this cat won’t make it home alive if not found quickly by someone who knows what they’re looking at.

Another tidbit of news is this is the fourth time Rocky has escaped. How does he keep getting out? Does anyone know? Let’s hope Rocky can be safely captured and his owner can do some studying on how to keep this exotic beauty under control.

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1 thought on “Dear Virginia Beach Animal Control: Please inform the public not to shoot this serval for the ‘thrill of the kill’”

  1. These cats have been domesticated since the 1990 and accepted as a new Higbred in 2012 by CFA. Yes they wander but so Samali cats as well as many dog breeds. So funny dog people are fine with their giant dogs but afraid of a big cat. FYI I have a 25 lb Maine Coon I suppose your afraid of him too!


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