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African Cats Recaptured After Los Al Escape

The animals, which resemble small cheetahs, were kept at an apartment, possibly without a permit, officials say.

Three serval cats that escaped over the weekend from a Los Alamitos apartment where they were kept as exotic pets have been recaptured, an animal control official said Monday.

The African wild cats -- two females and a male -- escaped from an apartment in the 4400 block of Hughes Avenue on Saturday night, said Long Beach Animal Care Services Manager Ted Stevens. The servals, which are the size of a medium-sized dog, have black spots and resemble small cheetahs.

The females were found within a few blocks of the apartment and taken to the Forever Wild Cat Sanctuary in Phelan, Stevens said. Neither the cats nor their captors were injured.

"They were not out stalking people. They were only a danger if cornered," he said. 

The search for the male lasted into Sunday night. He was located at the owner's apartment around 10:30 p.m. and also will be sent to the Phelan cat sanctuary, Stevens said.

California Fish and Game officers were investigating whether the owner violated regulations against possessing a serval without a permit, he said.

-- City News Service

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