DEEP Seizes Domesticated African Serval in Middletown

The state seized a domesticated African serval from a Middletown and arrested its owner earlier this month. 

On May 5, DEEP officials executed a search warrant for a male serval, which is described as a medium-sized feline weighing up to 40 pounds similar to a bobcat. 

Since the animal, Noah, was taken from the home, its owners created a petition to get the feline back. 

"Noah is not a dangerous animal," Joseph R. Sastre, the family's attorney, said. 

While DEEP said members of the felidae family are not recognized breeds of several top cat associations, Sastre said the laws of owning a serval vary from state to state. 

"Laws range from being outlawed in some states to requiring an owner's permit in others while in some states the keeping of an African serval is totally unregulated," Sastre said. "Connecticut's law on the matter is unclear and unsettled."

However, DEEP said a serval has been compared with a cheetah and believe the animal could potentially cause serious injury.

"The serval, born in captivity, will still have its natural instincts such as its prey drivers," the department said in a statement. 

The owner was charged with violating Connecticut General Statues, Sec. 26-40a(1).

DEEP said any member of the felidae family that is not a recognized breed of The International Cat Association, the Cat Fanciers Association or the American Cat Fanciers Association is illegal to possess in Connecticut. The serval is not recognized by any of these associations.

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