Man is fined £4,000 for keeping an African wildcat as a PET at his family home in London
- African wildcat Zena was reported by concerned neighbours in Roehampton
- She was seized and taken to a specialist wildlife facility in the United Kingdom
- Owner James Brown, 36,admitted one count of keeping her without a licence
An exotic pet owner has been fined £4,000 for keeping an African wildcat believed to be from the Serengeti National Park in his London home.
Neighbours reported James Brown, 36, to police in 2018 when they spotted the animal looking out for the window from the home in Roehampton.
Officers captured the wild cat, known as Zena, and she was taken to a wildlife facility.
Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court was told Zena, pictured, was from the Serengeti National Park before turning up in Roehampton
A witness told how he nearly ‘fell off his skateboard’ when he spotted Zena looking out of a window
Brown, the boss of a beauty salon, previously admitted one count of keeping a dangerous wild animal without a licence but did not attend the sentencing hearing at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court this week.
According to the Daily Telegraph District Judge Adrian Turner ordered him to pay £4,000 to cover Zena’s rehoming and casework.
The court was also told she was from the Serengeti National Park in Africa.
A neighbour previously said of the animal : “I went past on a skateboard and nearly fell off when I saw this big animal peering out.
The animal, five foot tall when she stand on her hind legs, has been taken to a specialist wildlife facility
‘But it was never any trouble to us and I’ve no idea who reported them.”
Wandsworth Police said of the animal at the time: ‘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.’
Animals considered to be wild, dangerous or exotic must have a licence in England.
Those on the list include wildcats, primates, wild boar and marsupials.