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Truth behind mystery of Highgate big cat is revealed

PUBLISHED: 12:27 19 September 2011

The 'Beast of Shepherd's Hill' has been spotted prowling the streets of Highgate

The 'Beast of Shepherd's Hill' has been spotted prowling the streets of Highgate

Archant

Its dusty yellow fur speckled with leopard print spots and tiger stripes resembles a wild cat straight out of the African desert.

But this mystery cat has been found far closer to home – prowling the streets of Highgate.

Bemused residents first spotted the un-familiar feline, known as the ‘Beast of Shepherd’s Hill’ in early July, but its origin remained a mystery – until now.

The Ham&High can now exclusively reveal that the exotic looking pet is in fact a Savannah cat – a designer feline thought to be worth thousands of pounds.

Will Newcomb, a Shepherd’s Hill resident who has seen the cat several times dating back to early July, said: “It is certainly the oddest looking cat we have ever seen round here.

“My neighbours and I have never seen anything like it. It looks like something straight out of the African desert.

“It just wanders into our house, although it doesn’t appear to be very friendly – when we approached it, it just ran off.”

The puss is a cross between a serval, a large wild cat found in Africa, and a domestic cat and was first registered as a breed in 2001.

They are very loyal to their owners and, like dogs, can be taught to fetch and be walked on a leash.

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