Atlanta woman finds wild African cat on her bed after waking up
- Kristine Frank woke to find a wild serval on her bed
- The cat was just 6 inches from her face
- The serval is a wild cat and is native to Africa
Imagine waking up one morning and there's a furry little cat cuddled up right in front of you. But wait, on the second look, that's not a regular cat or worse it's a wild, exotic cat.
Well, for Kristine Frank, who lives in the Brookhaven neighbourhood in Atlanta, this nightmare turned into reality when she woke up to see the surprise visitor right in front of her face on Wednesday, June 30.
Frank said the cat, a serval, which is native to Africa, came into the house shortly after her husband took their dog outside, leaving a door open, according to CNN reports.
The cat was just 6 inches from her face, Frank said. She scared it off the bed.
"I said, 'That's not a normal house cat. I don't know what that is, but I am terrified right now,'" she said.
Slowly she got out of the room and her husband opened a bedroom door that led outside, using which the cat left the house.
Still digesting the shock, Frank wondered if it was a bobcat or a leopard of sorts? "Was it a baby? Was it a mom?" she thought, according to CNN inputs.
Following the incident, she called animal control, who told her to contact the Department of Natural Resources, which is still investigating the incident.
"It still kind of terrifies me because that cat is illegal and there's a reason it's illegal. So I really don't know what it's capable of doing," she said to CNN.
Still, on the loose, the serval is estimated to be about 2-and-a-half feet tall and is someone's pet thinks Frank.
Although owning a wild cat is illegal in Georgia, there are no federal laws against it, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Alicia Prygoski, ALDF Senior Legislative Affairs Manager, said this particular incident showcases the importance of prohibiting wild cat ownership in the country. Not only does it jeopardises one's own well being it also puts other community members at risk.
"Wild cats are not meant for private possession," Prygoski affirmed, according to CNN inputs.
There is no regulation of wild cat trade in the United States, which leads to many species of wild cats, including servals, living out their lives in private homes, which is not an adequate environment for them and restricts their natural behaviours.
Meanwhile, the Department of Natural Resources is setting up traps in Frank's neighbourhood to catch the serval.
Prygoski explains that if and when law enforcement can trap her, she will be sent to an accredited sanctuary where she can live out the rest of her life in appropriate habitat.
In case anyone spots the wild cat, people are directed to stay away and contact animal control or the DNR.