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Carole Baskin of ‘Tiger King’ fame weighs in as 2 African Servals remain missing in Alabama

By Leada Gore | lgore@al.com

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Carole Baskin in "Tiger King." Netflix​

One of the stars of the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” is weighing in on two exotic African cats that escaped in North Alabama.

In a post on Facebook, animal rights activist Carole Baskin called for people to file a U.S. Department of Agriculture complaint against 256 Exotics, a Huntsville-based pet store. Her comments came after the store’s owner, Lacey Herring, reported two African Servals had escaped from a barn on her property. As of Thursday morning, the cats have not been recaptured.

“Ask USDA to cite this facility and seize the exotic cats to send them to legitimate sanctuaries that do not buy, breed, sell or allow public contact with wild animals,” Baskin wrote before listing Herring’s name and the store’s USDA number.

Herring declined to comment on Baskin’s statements

Animal regulations

Baskin added she thought Alabama’s laws regarding exotic animals should change.

“The only regulation that Alabama has is to say if the animal is a dog or cat, and if it can contract rabies it has to be vaccinated against rabies with an approved rabies vaccine,” Baskin told WHNT. “Well, there is no approved rabies vaccine for any of the exotic cat species. They’ve only been tested in domestic cats and dogs.

“It’s not that these animals belong in cages,” Baskin added. “It’s just that it’s not legal to release them because they’re not native to the US. They’re native to Africa and since these cats were born in the US they can’t be released to Africa…they’re stuck in a cage for the rest of their lives. But at least if they go to a legitimate sanctuary you’re not adding to the problem, as they are in these breeding facilities.”

Baskin is founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for exotic cats in Florida.

Animals remain on the loose

Herring reported the two African Servals missing earlier this week, saying they escaped from a barn on Winchester Road in Huntsville. Herring told AL.com the animals are being tracked and it’s believed they are still near the store.

Servals can grow as large as 2 feet tall and weigh up to 40 pounds. The cats typically have small heads, large ears and a yellow coat with black spots and stripes. Alabama is one of 18 states where you can own an African Serval without a license.

Anyone who sees the animals is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Department or animal control.

Link to article on AL.com
 

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