"You were lied to." 🐈
On May 18, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) posted a photo of the feline on its journey through Vancouver and identified that the animal was definitely not the average house cat.
"It wasn't a cougar, cheetah or 200-pound jaguar," the conservation service said in a tweet, "It was a Savannah Cat!"
Conservation officers also helped Vancouver Police round up the "pet Savannah Cat spotted out for a stroll" that was mistakenly reported as a cougar on the prowl.
It wasn\u2019t a cougar, cheetah or 200 pound jaguar.\nIt was a Savannah Cat! Conservation Officers assisted @VancouverPD with rounding up a pet Savannah Cat spotted out for a stroll in #Vancouver— BC CO Service (@BC CO Service) 1652905726
The BCCOS added that "Savannah Cats are not regulated under Controlled Alien Species regulations" and that the cat was reunited with its owner thanks to people calling in tips.
Savannah Cats are a breed that's a cross of a domestic cat and an African Serval which is a wild cat
Savannah Cats are not regulated under Controlled Alien Species regulations.\n\nWe appreciate the public calling in tips so it could be safely reunited with its owner. #NeverADullDaypic.twitter.com/a4mKkKxDTi— BC CO Service (@BC CO Service) 1652905728
However, everything is apparently not as it seems and that's where the reality TV star comes in.
Baskin replied to the tweet about the cat and said that Vancouver Police and the BCCOS had been "lied to" about the cat's species.
"You were lied to if someone told you this is a hybrid," she said. "It's a serval."
"As someone who has rescued servals and their hybrids for 30 years I can assure you that the only reason they are calling it a Savannah is because they know there is a law against owning a serval," Baskin continued.
You were lied to if someone told you this is a hybrid. It's a serval. As someone who has rescued servals and their hybrids for 30 years I can assure you that the only reason they are calling it a Savannah is because they know there is a law against owning a serval.— CaroleBaskin.ETH (@CaroleBaskin.ETH) 1652961904
Neither the BCCOS nor the Vancouver police replied to the tweet from Baskin but her comments did get quite a few replies from people agreeing and also disagreeing with her theory.
People told Baskin that there are no laws against owning servals in B.C. and one even said she needs to "read up on B.C. laws."
According to an investigation by CTV News, savannah and servals aren't allowed in Vancouver and Dr. Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer at B.C. SPCA, said she agrees with Baskin's assessment of the cat.
Also, the city told CTV News that under its Animal Control Bylaw, "felids" aren't allowed unless they're domestic cats and "a serval is considered a felid."
It has been speculated that conservation officers didn't know that both cat species are prohibited in Vancouver since the province has no ban against owning them.