Exotic animal sanctuary in Alpine rescues African servals

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SAN DIEGO — A pair of African servals have been rescued by the Lions, Tigers & Bears big cat and exotic animal sanctuary, it announced Thursday.

The two large wild cats, named Junior and Miss Kitty, lived with an owner in Arizona but were left without adequate care when that person died. The sanctuary agreed to take the cats in after the owner’s spouse contacted founder Bobbi Brink.

Junior and Miss Kitty are both roughly 8 or 9 years old and are currently receiving routine examinations from the sanctuary’s veterinary staff. The two cats will join the sanctuary’s other rescued serval, Denali, once their new dens are constructed and they are released from their quarantine habitat.

“Lions Tigers & Bears was founded to help animals just like this,” the sanctuary said in a statement. “For over 15 years, the rescue and education center has been saving animals and providing lifelong refuge to big cats, bears and other exotic animals with no place left to turn.”

Servals are medium-sized cats native to Africa, particularly in sub- Saharan countries. Because the species has significant mental and physical needs, they are not advised to be kept as pets.

The sanctuary also called on county residents to assist in raising funds for improvements to the cats’ habitats and ensure they live healthy lives at the sanctuary. Lions, Tigers & Bears hopes to raise $25,000 to accommodate the two cats. Donations can be made at the sanctuary’s website.

The no-kill, -breed or -sell sanctuary in Alpine includes more than 60 animals from more than 19 species such as African lions, American black bears, grizzly bears and tigers.

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