Exotic African pet cat is on the loose in Virginia

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Gray News) — A big African cat is hanging out around Virginia's largest city.

His name is Rocky and he’s a serval.

And while he just showed up in the Virginia Beach area, he’s been on the prowl since October. That’s the last time his owners in Kitty Hawk, NC, saw him.

The cat is wearing a tracking collar, but the batteries ran out months ago.

“Rocky is a domesticated pet, and is accustomed to being around dogs, people and children,” according to a post on the Virginia Beach Animal Control’s Facebook page.

“He has been out on his own for a while now and is not likely to come up to people. He will hunt small mammals and birds and has been known to take a chicken or two.”

Owner Brian Hankins is traveling about 80 miles up the coast to help city workers capture him. Traps are being set.

On his Facebook page, Hankins said Rocky is friendly to other pets and a video from September shows the cat playing with him.

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