A wild African cat is on the loose in a busy section of St. Charles County. The cat, a serval, is a pet belonging to Nick Natoli of Defiance. He says her name is Cleo and she ran off about seven weeks ago. Friday she was spotted near Highway 94, and 911 calls were made saying a cheetah had been spotted. She was located later in the day in a wooded area adjacent to the Target store at Mid Rivers Mall Drive and Highway 94.
“She got too spooked, Natoli said. “There were people moving all around the woods and it really spooked her so she was moving pretty quick and didn’t want to stop for anything.”
Those people were members of his family as well as St. Charles County Animal Control, who had tranquilizer guns ready to try and catch the cat. The concern wasn’t so much about the animal being a threat, but the difficulty in catching it. Online articles say servals can run as fast as fifty miles per hour.