WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A reported dangerous wildcat on the loose resulted in armed police response, causing panic in residents before officers concluded it did not pose a threat to the public.
- The police department dispatched armed response units and helicopters for the operation.
- The operation was concluded after the animal was identified to be domesticated — a Savannah cat that had escaped from a neighbor’s garden.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) dispatched armed response units to Bishop’s Avenue, Billionaires’ Row, following residents reported sightings of a dangerous wildcat on the loose with markings “like that of a cheetah or leopard.” London’s Scotland Yard also dispatched helicopters to assist with the search operation within the neighborhood.
The Evening Standard first reported the incident. The news station interviewed one of the residents who reported the animal to the police department after the cat jumped from behind the bushes into her garden.
“It was very dramatic,” the resident detailed her accounts. “We were scared,” she said. The heavy police response started a panic inside the neighborhood. “At that stage they had to think it was a dangerous wildcat.”
The responding unit concluded the operation after barricading one of the gardens in the neighborhood. The police officers, after identification, discovered that the animal is domesticated and was not considered a danger to the public. It was only a Savannah cat that had escaped from a neighbor’s garden.
“That animal looked like no pet I have seen,” said one of the neighbors.
The police department has confirmed that armed response units were dispatched, but stood down following the no risk to life assessment. The spokesperson for the department said that “there have been no reports of attacks or injuries to members of public.”
“There was a police helicopter whirring overhead and armed police and all sorts,” he said. “It was being dealt with as a huge incident.”
The Savannah cat is a crossbreed between a serval and a domesticated house cat. These animals are bigger than common domestic cats and they also have sharper hunting instincts. Even so, these cats are accepted as a registered breed of cats.
Per the website dedicated to this cat breed, these cats are the family pet. “With the energy and loyalty of a brand-new puppy and the independence and awareness of the best domestic house cat, the Savannah kitten is breed to have it all.”
Source: New York Post