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Royal Oak enacts moratorium on African caracal cats, other non-domestic animals – Daily Tribune

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Royal Oak metropolis commissioners have enacted a six-month moratorium on homeowners having non-domestic animals, together with African caracal cats.

A caracal named BamBam created fairly a stir within the metropolis almost a month in the past when it obtained free from a big enclosure the place 4 of the animals have been housed within the proprietor’s yard within the 700 block of East LaSalle Avenue.

Another of the cats obtained free on the similar time, however shortly returned. Police mentioned there had been two other escapes earlier than the Oct. 13 incident.

The proprietor, Elaine Westfall, moved the cats out of the town. But her lawyer instructed the Daily Tribune on Oct. 25, she had a proper to return with the cats as a result of Royal Oak had no ordinance in place to ban it.

BamBam was captured and in the end returned to Westfall. But the proprietor obtained 5 citations from the town and doubtlessly faces hundreds of {dollars} in fines.

Since then the town has labored towards drafting an ordinance for non-domestic animals.

City Manager Paul Brake mentioned Tuesday that Westfall has reportedly taken her caracal cats to the Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville, close to the state’s border with Ohio.

The metropolis moratorium on caracals and other non-domestic animals takes impact subsequent week.

“What we are focusing on is hybrid dogs and cats that are not exotic, but also not domestic, along with bears, deer, monkeys and gamefish,” Brake mentioned.

But it’ll take a while earlier than a brand new ordinance could be drafted and authorised.

“With the moratorium we are hitting the pause button,” he mentioned. “Domestic animals are not the focus of this. The main intent is to protect public safety.”

Another key goal of the moratorium and a future ordinance is to provide animal management and law enforcement officials authorized instruments to cope with an animal that’s doubtlessly harmful or can chew or trigger hurt.

The moratorium is aimed toward giving metropolis employees time to check the difficulty of the right way to greatest management non-domestic animals in Royal Oak when issues come up, Brake mentioned.

Caracals are carnivores that weigh as much as 40 or 50 kilos. The state’s Department of Natural Resources has instructed metropolis officers that caracals — in contrast to tigers or lions — are usually not thought-about unique breeds or regulated in Michigan.

Part of drafting the brand new metropolis ordinance will embrace public engagement efforts with residents and animal advocacy organizations.

“We need to have some thoughtful dialogue,” Brake mentioned.

The essential effort is predicted to start out within the new 12 months. 

Brake famous that some communities take a more durable strategy to issues with folks’s pets, similar to outright bans on pit bull canines.

He mentioned it’s extra essential to take a extra thought-about strategy.

“Ban the deed, not the breed,” Brake mentioned.