African Caracal Cat Currently on the Loose in Michigan, Police Warn

by Shelby Scott

Outsiders have seen a vast collection of unique pets on the loose this summer. Just some of those include zebras in Maryland, an African serval cat in California, and now another exotic feline in Michigan. MI’s Royal Oak Police Department is currently on the search for an African caracal cat. During which, they’ve warned residents not to approach it.

For those unfamiliar with exotic breeds of smaller African felines, domesticated caracals do not typically pose a threat to humans. Weighing between 18 and 42 pounds and measuring up to 20 inches tall, they tend to prey on smaller animals. These include small animals such as birds and rodents. Therefore, because of their predatory habits, authorities have warned Royal Oak residents to keep their small pets inside until the feline is caught.

According to Fox 2, the African caracal was last spotted near a Royal Oak Elementary School. Authorities have emphasized children should not attempt to approach or pet the cat. Further, anyone who spots it should immediately call 911.

As far as the caracal’s origins, a resident in the area reportedly own several of the exotic cats. The news outlet stated that two of the woman’s cats got out on Wednesday but managed to recover one. The woman shared with authorities the other caracal, still on the loose, does not pose a danger to humans. However, authorities have alerted nearby schools as a precaution.

African Serval Cat Perused California Neighborhood

Apparently, exotic cats are much more adept at escape and evasion than some of our typical housecats. While MI law enforcement works to capture the loose African caracal, last month saw San Diego authorities in a weeks-long effort to capture and contain an African serval cat.

The caracal resembles a small beige mountain lion with long black ear tufts. On the other hand, the serval very closely resembles a small leopard. Together, the two felines have created quite a stir in the news. Prior to the caracal’s great escape, the serval cat had been on the run for several weeks. Its owners previously assumed it had been killed by coyotes.

However, the serval soon showed up in the neighborhood, breaking headlines left and right. As far as we know, our African caracal has not caused any casualties so far, inclusive of poultry. Our serval feline, however, did claim at least one chicken’s life in its escape, raiding one CA resident’s chicken coop and returning several times after.

Additionally, the serval and the caracal differ significantly in stature. While the MI exotic cat measures less than two feet in height and weighs a maximum of 42 pounds, our serval grows slightly bigger. Last month’s cat escape featured a feline measuring two feet in height and weighing between 30 and 45 pounds. Overall, MI authorities might at least take comfort in knowing their “prey” isn’t nearly as hefty as the San Diego serval.