Woman whose African caracals escaped in Royal Oak expected to relocate big cats by Monday

Posted at 5:44 AM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 05:44:56-04

The clock is ticking for a woman whose African caracal cats escaped their enclosure in Royal Oak last week. The woman agreed to relocate the cats to a suitable new home by the end of the day on Monday.

Some neighbors in the area are on board with the relocation, as it isn't the first time the cats got out. Records show the owner was cited five other times for similar incidents.

"There are no wild animals that make a good pet, for both people or the animal," Scott Carter with the Detroit Zoo said.

According to Carter, the Caracal can be a "particularly dangerous" animal, especially to people with small dogs or cats.

"They are capable of doing significant harm, especially to a child. They can certainly harm an adult if they feel threatened," he said.

According to the Royal Oak Police Department, two of the cats escaped their enclosure on Wednesday near E. LaSalle St.

After a brief search, two were found in a case and another was returned to the owner after being located in the area.

The fourth cat took hours to find, and the threat was so serious, the elementary school kept kids indoors until it was off the streets.

"Instant scare, and fear, there is a giant cat loose in the neighborhood and we didn't know what to do? Shall we send the kids to school? This has happened before, and I thought we had seen it down the road before," Royal Oak resident Nicholas Bockel said.

According to police, this is the third time the cats have gotten loose.

Despite their size and strength, Michigan's large carnivore laws say they are perfectly legal to have.

Police are hoping the woman will re-home her cats to keep everyone else safe.