UPDATE: Since this story was posted The Phuket News has been informed by the person who initially posted the notice that the cat was missing that the B50,000 reward was for the safe return of the cat, not for information that leads to its safe return. However, the same person also in the same series of messages said that the reward was never offered.
As such, The Phuket News urges readers to consider this article as informative only to the fact that a pet African wild cat was reported as missing in the Surin beach, Cherng Talay area.
The cat, Julie, is one year old and has markings similar to a cheetah.
Sirilada Mongkolrattanaroj of the local animal charity organisation The Voice Foundation helped to share the message in Thai yesterday with a call for anyone to report sightings of Julie.
Ms Sirilada said, “The cat’s owner, a Russian man, is seriously worried about his cat saying there is a reward of B50,000 for information that leads to the cat’s safe return.”
“It’s [a] girl, named Julie. About 1 year old. Was lost in [the] Surin beach area. Big cat looks like a cheetah. She has been missing since morning 05.12.2020. She’s probably scared to death. We need help in finding her. The owner is in tears please help!” Ms Srilada said.
“Please send us any information/ photo/location if you will see her. Actually it will be better [if] we will come and will catch her by ourselves, because she can be scared of new people.
“She is not dangerous but can be more scared and run away again. Please contact 0819899009,” she added.
Piyawat Sukon, Chief of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Conservation Centre in Thalang, confirmed to The Phuket News that the serval cat is not a protected animal in Thailand.
They can be kept as pets, he said.
“It is a solitary carnivore and active both by day and at night. The Serval cat is instinctively terrified by people. It can be tamed, although it is an animal and still can bite,” Mr Piyawat explained.
“In case of being attacked by an animal, please report at 089-8737749 or 1362 the Wildlife Conservation Office in Thailand,” he added.
“If you do see this serval cat, keep an eye on it but do not approach it – and report it immediately to the owner,” Mr Piyawat said.