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Big Cat On The Loose In Detroit May Be Hybrid Savannah Breed (VIDEO) (UPDATE)

08/26/2013 02:19 pm ET | Updated Aug 27, 2013

This is not the kind of stray cat you want to offer a saucer of milk, or even encounter on the street. For the last several weeks, Detroiters have reported seeing a large animal that has been described as up to four feet tall and as long as an 85-pound Doberman prowling their neighborhood in the northeastern area of the city.

According to WJBK-TV in Detroit, an expert believes the animal could be a Savannah cat, a hybrid breed that is a cross between an African serval and a domestic house cat. The breed was first introduced in the 1980s.

The cat is putting residents on edge. Fourteen-year-old Paul Hatley told the Detroit Free Press he ran into the animal recently.

“It wasn’t normal,” he said. “It didn’t run away like normal cat. It just stared at you. ... It was scary.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, several residents have spotted the cat, which has unique markings. They reportedly called Detroit Animal Control, who didn't respond. On Friday, the Michigan Humane Society told the paper it would investigate the situation.

Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue has also set traps for the cat, Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek told WDIV-TV.

"What I think is that someone took this breed of cat on and then probably dumped it here," she said. "They're the wildest version of a domestic cat but they are not wild animals, they have been domesticated."

Though the occasional odd animal has turned up loose in Detroit, like multiple alligators, the city also has a large problem with domestic animals roaming the streets. Read more about Detroit's stray dog problem and the people who are working to rescue abandoned animals here.

UPDATE: August 27, 11:13 AM: The big cat has been shot and killed, reports an animal rescue group who was searching for the animal. Read more here.

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