A billionaire today claimed the big cat at large in north London was a CHEETAH after armed police raided his garden.
Nirmal Sethia revealed that officers with machine guns shot down Billionaire’s Row last night and cornered the escaped cat on his property – before it got the slip.
Scared residents caught the cat (pictured) as it was roaming a garden in Hampstead, North London
Nirmal Sethia saw armed policemen looking for the big cat in his garden last nightPhoto credit: SWNS: South West News Service
Police at the cat sighting crime scene in Hampstead, north London, last night
The 78-year-old Newby Teas tycoon now fears for the safety of his two-year-old grandchildren, who live with him and their parents in Hampstead, north London.
Mr Sethia revealed at 9:30 p.m. yesterday that armed police had come down in his yard to look for the animal believed to be a Savannah cat.
He said, “Most of them had guns, some had machine guns. Some had electronic tasers.
“Slowly more and more people came and about 12 policemen, then 15 to 20.
“They identified the cat that was hidden in the bushes and walked down the back of my yard.
“The police said it could be a cheetah.”
“It looks dangerous”
The tycoon was told this morning that the big cat – who “looks dangerous” – was free again.
He added, “Why did they let it escape?
“I think it was an excuse [to say it was a Savannah cat]. If you look at the picture, it’s a cheetah.
“For those who don’t know what’s going on, it’s a terror. I have two grandchildren, two years old. It’s scary.”
The big cat is believed to have escaped from the garden of a mansion on Billionaires’ Row in leafy Hampstead, north London.
Other neighbors said they were nervous about letting their children or small pets in their gardens.
One woman who only gave her name as Maria said, “I won’t let my puppy out in the garden, that’s for sure until I know he’s been found.”
City police have tried to comfort the public by saying it posed no threat and no attacks have been reported.
It is believed that the same cat was spotted today at Brim Hill near Hampstead in East FinchleyImage Credit: Archie Sinclair
He recounted how the officers cornered the animal but appeared to be losing itPhoto credit: SWNS: South West News Service
A spokesman said: “Officials visited the scene. An animal expert also visited the cat and assessed it visually. It was concluded that the animal was not considered dangerous or a threat to the public.
“The cat that was evicted from the garden; research continues to find it.”
A photo taken by a local as the cat strutted through their garden showed the animal on all fours as if ready to pounce on prey.
The cat is still at large and it is believed that the same savannah was discovered today in a garden in Brim Hill near Hampstead in East Finchley.
Savannah cats are considered attractive, exotic pets by owners and were first bred in the UK in the 1980s.
They are a mix of an African serval and a domestic cat, with males reaching 16 inches tall.
By comparison, the average size of a domesticated cat is just under 10 inches.
Serval cats and other wild breeds are illegal in the UK but are often kept in private zoos, similar to those shown on Netflix’s Tiger King.
Yesterday’s sighting wasn’t the first time a big cat has sent a twinge of fear through Hampstead.
Last year a panicked mother had to save her two young children from a wild “super cat” that was chasing them in her garden.
Dr. Neetu Nirdosh threw a toy at the spotted animal as it snapped at the petrified children.
In August, a photographer claimed to see a dog-sized cat roaming the Yorkshire countryside.
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Several people claim to have seen the “Beast of Ossett” seen in the woods and fields around the city of West Yorkshire.
There have also been a number of alleged sightings of the Wildcat of the Wolds near Driffield, East Riding, Yorkshire, where incidents of maimed cattle have also been reported.
In 2016, Lee Clifford believed he took a photo of a wildcat prowling the countryside near Hull.
- Savannah cats are a controversial breed between a domestic cat and a serval, an African wild cat.
- The breed began in the mid-1980s and became popular pets as well as in private zoos.
- Savannah cats are tall, lean, and long-legged cats, but their general size depends on how close they are to the first generation that was bred. Male Savannah cats tend to be larger than females.
- They are known to be sociable and get along well with children and even other animals.
- Savannahs can be trained to walk on a leash, play fetch, and sometimes even perform tricks.
- It is not legal in the UK to own a serval or first generation Savannah cat.
- The RSPCA has also raised some concerns about the impact the Savannah cat could have on the UK’s natural wildlife due to the cat’s keen hunting instinct.
Dr. Neetu Nirdosh spotted this big cat in her garden in Hampstead last year
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