BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — A wildcat named Nala has been captured by officials, according to the Animal Defense Fund.
“We were just informed that Nala, the Serval Cat loose in the neighborhood, has been captured and is no longer a threat. Thanks to all that helped us find her,” Elizabeth Putsche, Communications Director for the Animal Defense Fund, told 11Alive in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors in Historic Brookhaven were notified by a committee chair that someone had trapped the cat in their backyard, the owner was called and came and collected the cat.
According to officials, Georgia clearly prohibits unlicensed possession of serval cats -- a charge that could be pursued by local or state law enforcement. These agencies also have the ability to seize the cat whether legal action is taken for violating the law.
Kristine Frank, a resident, had a close encounter with the wild animal. During an interview with 11Alive, said she has never seen anything like it during her eight years in the city.
She said her husband let their dog out in the wee hours of the morning, a normal routine and left the door open.
She proceeded to continue resting until she felt a movement on her bed. Kristine revealed she doesn’t let her dog sleep on her bed, so she wondered what it was.
“I look at the cat and I know immediately that is not a normal house cat. I did not look like a pet. It looked like a wild animal,” she said.
The cat jumped out of the bed, when Kristine noticed the cat was more than 2 feet with pointy ears, and spots.
“I yell for my husband and yell. ‘Dave, that is not a cat!’ So, he comes in the room and I’m just in bed freaking out. He locked eyes with the cat and the cat was kind of cornered. So, I slowly got out of the bed and tippy toed out and my husband was able to get the cat out of the house,” she said.
Kristine said she doesn’t know what kind of cat it is, but it reminded her of a bob cat.
“I just think if my dog would have been in the house what would have happened to my dog? If I had small children, what would have happened to them?” Kristine reflected with concern.
While Georgia wildlife enforcement look for the cat, The Animal Legal Defense Fund said this animal likely got to Atlanta because someone is keeping it as a house pet, and is very dangerous.
“The message here is just that wild cats are not supposed to be pets, and they can be a danger to a community and surrounding neighborhoods," a rep told 11Alive.