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WildCat Ridge Sanctuary reports breeder lied to Portland owner about African Caracal's origin.

VIA WILDCAT SANCTUARY - Finnigan, 2, is a healthy African Caracal. He now lives in rural Marion County. It was a caracal all along!

For the past two weeks, Portlanders have been captivated by the ongoing saga of the exotic big cat roaming the streets of Stumptown.

The wily animal hopped off an apartment balcony in Northwest Portland on Friday, April 12, spurring a slew of 'bobcat' sightings.

After the caracal was captured a few days later, vets thought it might be a hybrid "caracat."

Nope. In a message to the Tribune, WildCat Ridge Sanctuary owner Cheryl Tuller writes that the animal is 100 percent African Caracal.

"This is a typical story of a naive new owner being lied to by a breeder," according to a post on the sanctuary's website.

Instead, the breeder apparently told the owner it was a hybrid which could be kept legally. Other paperwork falsely claimed the furry beast was a "Savannah cat."

The caracal has found a new forever home at the WildCat Sanctuary, which is located in rural Marion County. And he's got a new name: Finnigan

Finnigan is about two years old, and is said to be in good health and not declawed. "He is a bit nervous but curious, exploring his new space and we know he will settle in just fine," according to WildCat.

Read a previous update written by our news partners:

KOIN 6 NEWS IMAGE - The escaped caracat is shown here on April 12. A large exotic cat that escaped its home and was later captured by the Department of Fish and Wildlife is now living at a local wildlife sanctuary, according to KOIN 6 News.

The cat jumped from the owner's apartment balcony and into a neighbor's yard. It was loose for several days before being captured.

Multnomah County Animal Services said the cat is actually a caracat, a hybrid between a caracal and domestic cat. Caracats are illegal to own.

Officials said the owner voluntarily turned the cat over to Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary in Scotts Mills.

Caracals are native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and India, not the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Zoo also owns caracals and has successfully bred them.

KOIN 6 News is a media partner of the Portland Tribune.

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