Exotic pet cat on the loose in Virginia roamed from NC home

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Exotic cat seen in Virginia Beach in April 2019. (Photo: Virginia Beach City Government)

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (AP) — A big African cat has been prowling around Virginia’s largest city.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday that animal control officials say the serval cat roamed from his owner’s house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to Virginia Beach, a distance of about 80 miles.

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The cat named Rocky disappeared from Kitty Hawk in October. Owner Brian Hankins is traveling north to help city workers capture him. Hankins says Rocky is very friendly.

Serval cats can stand up to 2 feet high and weigh as much as 40 pounds. The lanky, spotted cats have long necks and large ears.

Animal Control supervisor Meghan Conti said Rocky likely traveled up the Atlantic Coast and ate a fair share of seagulls along the way. The route includes parks and wildlife refuges.