When a lynx was found roaming a back garden in North London in 2001 there was still scepticism despite the fact the animal was tranquilised and stransfered to a zoo in France. In 2011 a juvenile Amur leopard cat was found in London too. The story was covered on ITV1's Wildlife Patrol and mentioned in the press. The City of London site stating:
'22 February 2011
Stray leopard cat finds shelter at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre
A stray Amur leopard cat has been given a temporary new home at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.
The cat, scientific name Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura, was taken in by the HARC after it had initially been handed to Battersea Dogs Home by a member of the public from Chiswick.
Concerned that it was not a normal domestic breed, Battersea Dogs Home passed the animal over to the HARC where it was identified by staff as the Amur leopard cat. This species, more commonly found in Russia and Asia, requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
Rob Quest, Manager at the HARC, said: "We've welcomed almost every sort of creature here in the centre's 33-year history – with the exception of a giraffe. This Amur leopard cat will receive the best care we have to offer before a new home can be found."
At the suggestion of Deborah Bradfield, animal health inspector at the HARC, re-homing responsibility for the cat will now be passed over to the Specialist Wildlife Services, who have found new homes for many exotic animals for The City of London and Customs at Heathrow Airport. They are members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria and hold all the appropriate licences for animal transport.'
The cat was transferred to a zoo in Scotland after it was detained at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre.
The BBC website of March 15th commented, 'A dangerous species of cat found in London has been rehomed to a wildlife conservation centre in southern Scotland.
The Amur leopard cat, more commonly found in Russia and Asia, requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. It was taken to the Heathrow animal reception centre last month after being handed in to Battersea Dogs Home.
It has now been transferred to the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Centre.Conservation manager John Denerley said the female cat was settling in well.
"We've welcomed the Amur leopard cat here, we had one before," he said.
"This cat receives the best care we offer.She is young and was a bit nervous, so she has to acclimatise to her enclosure and it will take a few days before she can explore the whole area."