LONDON man fined £4,000 for keeping an African wildcat as a pet
One London man has been slapped with a hefty £4,000 fine after he was discovered to be keeping an African wildcat in his home as a pet. Animals considered to be wild or dangerous can only be kept in the UK under a special licence, and on top of this, officials believe this particular animal may have been illegally smuggled from the Serengeti National Park in Africa.
James Brown, a 36-year-old beauty salon manager from Roehampton, was caught out when a neighbour reported seeing the exotic pet looking out a window in his home to the authorities. According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Brown was ordered to pay a £4,000 fine this week at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court. District Judge Adrian Turner said that the fee would go towards rehoming the wildcat, named Zena, appropriately.
Wandsworth Police said: ‘Putney Safer Neighbourhoods officers got more than they bargained for when they came to work on Wednesday morning.
‘Animal Control requested their help after they were contacted about an unusual sighting in Roehampton.
‘A passer-by had seen a cat in the window that looked a little different from your average moggy.
‘Zena is believed to be about a year old, and possibly smuggled into the country illegally from abroad.
‘This wildcat princess was safely seized from the address and taken to a secure holding centre, where she will medically examined before starting her new life in a specialist wildlife facility in the UK.’
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