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African Serval Stolen

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
An African Serval was stolen in Surrey. I live 8 blocks from where he was stolen! The Serval was seen on my street and there are so many kids around here. Read the story...

Cheetah-like cat stolen in Surrey

Global BC

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The disappearance of a large cheetah-like cat in the Surrey area is now officially being investigated as a "cat-napping."

Four callers reported seeing the animal being dragged on a leash by a man in the area of 80th Avenue and King George Highway.

It's believed the exotic cat is in the possession of a white man in his 30s, about five-foot-10, with an average build, blonde hair and a moustache.

The animal, an African serval, was in the back of its owner's car in the Newton area of Surrey when it disappeared.

Maya Kende, who has raised the exotic cat since it was a kitten, says the animal is relatively tame with her, but could be dangerous around strangers.

"He's fine with me, but it is a wild animal," says Kende. "You have to realize this animal will attack a child."

"As the animal gets hungry, it could pose a threat to children," says Surrey RCMP Const. Tim Shields. "And that, we take seriously."

Kende says she returned to her car and discovered that the back door was open and the cat, which she named Loki, was gone.

She is concerned for her pet's well-being, because anyone unfamiliar with its diet and handling may not be able to care for it properly.

An African serval, which resembles a small cheetah or lynx, grows to about five feet in length and weighs about 40 pounds.

Kende says she researched the animals for several years before purchasing the exotic cat, then got it from a breeder in the Nanaimo area. She raised it in the Kelowna area before relocating to the Lower Mainland a week ago, and is reported to have been living out of her car.

Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society says the keeping of exotic pets is growing in popularity, and is a serious problem.

Fricker says servals are among several exotic cats in demand as pets. Because it is not an endangered species, there is no federal law banning their importation or ownership, unless forbidden by a local municipal bylaw.

"The result is a glut of exotics flooding the marketplace," says Fricke. "It's disturbing. It's a huge public safety issue as well as a humane issue."

The humane society says Surrey's exotic-animal bylaw needs to be strengthened to bar not just the sale and trade of such animals but the keeping of them as well.

That bylaw is currently being debated by Surrey city council.

-- With reporting by Sophie Lui of Global BC, and Canadian Press

I will update you guys when I hear more news about Loki!
post #2 of 19
I'm mad, why keep an exotic cat in the back of your car, living out of the car???!!! This cat needs to be in its homeland...very disturbing that she couldn't adopt the overflow of stray regular housecats...
post #3 of 19
Originally posted by Crazy-Cat-Lover
She raised it in the Kelowna area before relocating to the Lower Mainland a week ago, and is reported to have been living out of her car.
If I'm not mistaken, Kelowna is being ravaged by wildfires. That would certainly explain her relocating quickly and having problems with housing....Not that it is an excuse, but it makes it more understandable.

I hope Loki is found safe and soon.
post #4 of 19
Yep, here is the link to the Kelowna fires thread.

post #5 of 19
I hope they find the serval -- they do require special diets, and are wild.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
The man that stole the Serval walked into Robins Donuts (5 minutes from my house) and bought him a sausage roll. The Serval was hanging around the Donut Shop for a little while. There were tons of witnesses, but nobody tried to take the cat away from him. By the time the news crew showed up, the man and Loki were gone.

Loki is probably really scared. He is used to one person and one person only. I hope they can catch him before it's to late!
post #7 of 19
I hope Loki gets found soon!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Stolen serval cat spotted at Robin's Donut shop in Surrey

David Hogben
Vancouver Sun

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Police in Surrey are seeking an African serval cat reported stolen this week and last seen Wednesday at Robin's Donuts in Newton.

Constable Tim Shields said a Kelowna woman of no fixed address reported the cat missing about 4 p.m Tuesday. She said she had left it in her vehicle, which was parked outside a local muffler shop for about 20 hours.

He said the 18-kilogram cat, a two-year-old named Loki worth about $2,500, had a reputation for causing trouble in Kelowna, where it reportedly once chased a woman into her home.

Loki's owner was not identified by police, but a woman named Maya Kendi, who says she is the owner of the cat was interviewed by BCTV on Global.

Wearing a fitted, bright-coloured Hello Kitty T-shirt, Kendi talked about her run of bad luck and warned people that her pet could be dangerous to strangers.

"Everything's been stolen in Kelowna, so I came down here just to get away and now my cat's been stolen," Kendi said.

"He's fine with me, but it is a wild animal. You have to realize this animal will attack a child."

Vancouver Humane Society campaign coordinator Peter Fricker said serval cats are becoming more common as exotic pets, but he was unable to say how many there are in the Lower Mainland.

The animals grow to be about 80 centimetres (about 32 inches) tall and can weigh up to 20 kilograms (45 pounds).

The cat resembles a miniature cheetah except that the serval has a relatively short tail. The cheetah's tail is longer for balance and steering while running.

Police received four reports early Wednesday that the cat had been seen in the company of a man who appeared to be dragging it on a leash along a street near the intersection of 80th Avenue and King George Highway. The man was said to be white, in his 30s, with blond hair and a moustache. He was about 178 centimetres (five feet, 10 inches) tall and of medium build.

But police received another report Wednesday that a Surrey bylaw officer, unaware the cat had been stolen, helped two young men load it into a vehicle at the Robin's Donut shop off the King George Highway in Newton.

Robin's employee Sohila Karimi said two men sauntered up to her counter, ordered an orange juice and sandwich for one of them and some water and a beef sausage roll for the cat.

Karimi did not see the animal being loaded in the van or the involvement of the bylaw enforcement officer, but said the men were regulars in the area and appeared to be a street people.

"I see them all the time coming in for doughnuts," Karimi recalled. "They are always asking for free doughnuts."

She said the cat drank some water, but she did not notice if it had any of the beef sausage roll.

She also said the cat appeared to be reluctant to go with the men.

"The cat looked scared," she said. "It didn't want to go; they pulled it very hard."

Surrey bylaw and licensing manager John Sherstone said his bylaw officer saw a man with the cat at a convenience store near the Robin's Donuts and advised him to get it off the street.

"She did exactly the best thing she could do," Sherstone said. "She made sure that it was in the van and that it departed."

As news of the theft of the cat spread through Surrey, Shields said numerous false alarms were received.

RCMP and the SPCA charged to a location near the doughnut shop after receiving a telephone tip from someone claiming to have located Loki.

"It was a false alarm," Shields said, adding that another false alarm turned out to be a raccoon growling under the protective hood of a hot tub.

Other false sightings were telephoned in from anxious parents near school yards.

Other parents and kids took the wild cat theft in stride.

Rebecca Thomsen, pushed Zack, 17 months old, in his stroller as she walked Page, four years old, to kindergarten at Bear Creek Elementary Wednesday afternoon.

Thomsen acknowledged she was aware of the missing cat, but said her kids would not normally be unescorted on those streets.

"We have already got coyotes running around here," she said.

Ironically, a bylaw that could prohibit the purchase or transfer of such exotic animals was considered by Surrey council at its Tuesday meeting.

Animal rights activists say such a bylaw would have to ban not just the purchase but the ownership of such animals to be effective.

"Otherwise, people in Surrey would simply go into another area where there is no ban on the sale of exotic animals," said the humane society's Fricker.

The Surrey bylaw goes to council for third reading in about two weeks.
post #9 of 19
wow what a story, i would think a preson wopuld be about stupied to walk up to a car and not knowing the animal and just take it out, this person is stupied, but you know what, if this animal turns and eats this person up, then it will be omg destroy the animal its furouses, duh!! its a wild animal, people like that jsut make me mad... i hopw this poor animal gets back safe where it should be.
post #10 of 19
servals dont do good when they have a new owner - they are a 1 owner animal/
post #11 of 19
I don't know where these people are getting their information, but to be 40-45 lbs a serval would have to be obese. Servals are roughly twice the size of a domestic cat, with the females running 20-25 lbs and the males up to 35 (and this size is rare). And, contrary to the claims, they do have long tails. Servals in the wild hunt rodents and other such small animals. The very claim that one might attack a child is proof these folks don't know what they're talking about. The only time one would attack would be if is was cornered and threatened.

Contrary to the claim of many breeders, as wild animals they really do not make good pets. We have four of them at our rescue facility, all former "pets".

This is Zahnah, one of the four servals:

Here she is with Susan, one of the volunteers. These two have developed a special attachment to each other.

post #12 of 19

what a magnificent animal! I'd love to see the other 3 at your rescue facility. Is there a website I can check out?
post #13 of 19
post #14 of 19
That is absolutley a beautiful cat!
post #15 of 19

Is it true that when a serval loses their owner, they do not form another bond with another human? Or, does it just take a long time? I got to see a few servals when I bought my 2 new bengals, and they were amazing animals!
If I lived where you lived, I would sponsor Zaynah in a hearbeat! I think it's great that you have taken these servals in.
post #16 of 19
Zahnah went through a period of depression at first. It took a couple of months but she came around and now has grown attached to a small number of people, but particularly to the young lady in the photo. (Zahnah very clearly prefers women to men.)

Lena seems to like pretty much everyone. She adjusted well and quickly and is happy for all the attention she can get.

Kiko and Sasha are a bit more distant. Kiko clearly just has a mind of his own. Sasha is not the friendliest cat around, though she will warm up to people to a limited degree over time.

post #17 of 19
thanks for providing that link. They are breathtaking creatures. I hope I'm lucky enough to meet one in person one day.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Exotic pet catnapped

By Dan Ferguson and Kevin Diakiw
Staff Reporters

Someone stole Mya Kende's cat from her car Tuesday afternoon.
That would not normally attract a lot of police attention, if it were not for the fact that "Loki" is a two-year-old, 40-pound African serval, which resembles an undersized cheetah. RCMP received several sightings the day Loki disappeared from the Petro-Canada parking lot in the 7200 block of King George Hwy., most describing a 5'10" white man in his 30s with blonde hair and a moustache, dragging the big cat on a leash near 80 Ave. and King George Hwy. about 1:30 p.m. Other reports say two men were seen with the cat, and a Surrey bylaw officer helped the pair load Loki into a van.

The officer did exactly what she was supposed to do, Surrey bylaw boss John Sherstone said Wednesday. "She loaded it in the van and made sure they left the area," Sherstone said, adding the animal hadn't been reported missing until three hours later. "If it had already been reported stolen, that's a little different." Tyson Konecny and his friend Gary Baker took pictures of the big cat when Kende visited a car show in Surrey on Saturday. "She (Kende) was walking around with another girl," Konecny told The Leader Thursday.
"There was a crowd of people following them." The cat was well-behaved despite the crowd, but "getting irritated" by all the attention Konecny added.

The RCMP said Loki's owner was visiting the Surrey area from Kelowna.
Kende told police that Loki is tame, but on a special diet that the cat must be fed in order to stay alive.
Surrey SPCA manager Hugh Coghill said the owner has advised the local shelter that the male cat has been declawed and is somewhat timid.
While the danger to the public is not substantial, Coghill warns the serval still has his teeth and could do "a great deal of harm" if provoked or panicked.

If anybody finds the animal, call 911 and do not approach, he advised.
While Kende could not be reached for comment, her father in Toronto told The Leader that his daughter's serval was stolen on her 26th birthday. "I'm sort of praying it remains stolen," her father Balint Kende said. "A wild animal is not for somebody who doesn't have a proper home, garden and job." He said Mya got the cat as a gift from her boyfriend two years ago, and has been living periodically in a home in Kelowna.

On Thursday, word on the street was that the animal may have been traded for heroin by its captors.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Gord Standcumbe at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 604-669-TIPS.
post #19 of 19
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