Wild exotic cat found lurking in couple’s backyard

New Mexico

Stray or feral cats are commonly found wandering through neighborhoods, but one New Mexico couple was freaked out when they found a large, wild cat, from a foreign country hanging out in their backyard.

“It kind of felt that we were just kind of looking at each other, just kind of sizing each other up,” said David Gabaldon.

While enjoying their Sunday morning coffee, Gabaldon and his wife Krisitn of Los Chaves spotted a majestic creature in their backyard.

“And I look at Kris and I say, ‘what is that?'” said Gabaldon. 

The couple got out their phones and quickly started rolling on the exotic spotted animal lurking outside their home. 

“This sure beats the usual cat or dog that we shoo out of the yard,” he said.

The two tried to figure out what it was, but once posted to Facebook the verdict was a Serval cat — not from New Mexico, or anywhere even on the continent.

“We saw the spots and we were wondering if it’s a leopard,” said Gabaldon.  

“They’re indigenous to Africa, so definitely… what’s it doing in Los Chavez? Yeah, exactly,” said Kristin Gabaldon. 

KRQE News 13 showed the video to the Albuquerque BioPark manager. 

“It’s a Serval, yeah,” said BioPark manager Lynn Tupa. 

The zoo has its own Serval, named Savannah. 

“They have these huge ears and long legs,” said Tupa.  

She said Servals are incredible animals, and that some people keep them as pets.

“They’re considered the most successful out there. They make more kills than any other cat out there,” said Tupa.  

However, she said they’re also illegal in New Mexico. 

“So whoever has that, bought that illegally,” she said.  

Despite the legalities and some mixed feelings of what this cat wanted, the Gabaldon’s will never forget their curious visitor. 

“I was just amazed that this beautiful creature was just allowing me to just stare at it,” said David Gabaldon. 

The couple said they tried calling Game and Fish and Animal Control, but had trouble getting ahold of someone. 

BioPark staff said if you own a Serval cat in New Mexico, it can be confiscated. Tupa said if you spot one of the cats out and about, call Animal Control so they can capture it. 

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