African Cat Bites Firefighter in Washington Home Fireplace

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A Clark County, Washington firefighter was bitten by an African serval cat in a house fire.

(Clark County Fire District 6)

African serval found in Clark County fire

Micah Rice, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.


April 18 – For firefighters, that call didn’t go perfectly.

On Sunday afternoon, Clark County Fire District 6 responded to a house fire on Northwest 38th Avenue. There they found a homeowner fighting the fire in the back of the house.

The fire had spread in the attic. With the help of the Vancouver Fire Department, the persistent fire was brought under control in 25 minutes.

While fighting the fire at 11115 NW 38th Ave. the emergency services learned that there was a cat inside.

But this wasn’t your average Felida cat.

An African serval weighing between 60 and 70 pounds was unharmed but frightened. It injured a firefighter who was bitten on the hand.

At that point, when the fire was out, the house was sealed until Clark County Animal Control could help get rid of the exotic cat.

Servals are big cats from sub-Saharan Africa. The predators are smaller than a cheetah and have similar spots and large ears.

Thousands of servals are owned as exotic pets, with kittens costing more than $ 2,000. Owning these cats is controversial among animal rights activists, according to which even domesticated cats maintain wild tendencies.

“Wild animals, including those born in zoos, retain their wild instincts for hundreds or even thousands of years, so these cats are not good pets,” the San Diego Zoo writes on a page about servals on its website.

A total of four engines, a squad, a truck and a battalion chief were called into the flame, which was reported at 2:35 p.m. The cause is being investigated.


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