Serval cat shot and killed in Ohio not believed to be runaway Rocky

Rocky the African serval was spotted in Virginia Beach earlier this year [Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Animal Control]

An African serval cat shot and killed after attacking a dog in Ohio this week doesn’t appear to be Rocky, our infamous Outer Banks’ runaway.

Deputies were called to a neighborhood in Fairfield County, Ohio Sunday afternoon after a small dog was attacked by a large wildcat, authorities said.

Deputies arrived and found the cat in a wooded area. It was shot when it appeared to be about to attack deputies, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office said.

Ohio requires owners of exotic animals to obtain state licenses, but no one in Fairfield County had a permit for a serval cat, 10TV.com reported.

Brian Hankins, Rocky’s owner, said in a Facebook post he doesn’t think the Ohio serval was Rocky, who was last seen Sept. 28 on surveillance camera in Clayton, N.C. — about 200 miles from home.

The serval killed in Ohio was possibly owned by an NFL player’s father, who keeps wolf-hybrids and other exotic animals on a farm near Columbus.

Rocky was seen twice last month in North Carolina, on Sept. 17 in Fuquay-Varina area of North Carolina and on Sept. 28 in Clayton.

Wildlife camera image of a cat who looks like Rocky in Farquay-Varina on Sept. 17.

Rocky has been on the run since Oct. 23, 2018. He was wearing a tracking collar, but the batteries died shortly after his breakout.

This spring, Rocky made big news when he turned up in Virginia Beach. Despite many sightings and traps set, the cat continued to evade capture.

In May, Rocky was seen in a neighborhood near the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and then seemingly disappeared. Until Sept. 17, when a cat that looks a lot like Rocky was captured on a wildlife camera, far away from the Outer Banks.

Rocky is a domesticated cat, for the most part, friendly to humans and dogs. He has been known to kill pet chickens, however.

Serval cats are considered the most successful hunters among African wildcats, but as pets they are known as extraordinary escape artists.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.