Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 8th, 2008
File this one away. Did you guess what it would be that was probing the bushes of Anchorage?
The Mystery Cat around and about the 50th state in recent weeks has been captured alive by a man using a dipnet, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and James Halpin of the Daily News:
The animal was at first thought to be a serval, a wild, medium-sized African cat that is illegal in Alaska. Turns out it is a savannah cat, a mix of a serval and a domestic cat that is legal, said wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott.
The cat, whose name is Simon, had actually been missing since last spring from its owners’ home in the Kincaid Park area, Sinnott said.
In the time since, it has sporadically popped up around town, causing double-takes and looks of disbelief from Point Woronzof to Fort Richardson on the Glenn Highway.
The animal was finally pinned down at a man’s home between the Glenn and Russian Jack Springs Park, Sinnott said [on November 7]. Using a dipnet, the man scooped up the year-old animal and brought it to Fish and Game.
“As far as I can tell, that’s a legal animal, so I gave it back to her with a warning not to let it go again,” Sinnott said.
Thanks to kittenz for the heads up, who also added:
“As it turns out, this cat is a Savannah cat – a fairly recent hybrid ‘breed’ developed by crossing servals (Felis serval or Leptailurus serval) with domestic cats (Felis catus), including Bengals. Savannahs are considered to be domestic cats and are legal to own in Alaska (unless a local ordinance prevents it). Servals, on the other hand, are not legal to own as pets in Alaska, but can be legally owned for scientific or educational use (such as a zoo), provided the owner has the required permits.”
The classic pose of the savannah cat.
One of A1 Savannahs playing in the yard.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.