A Savannah Cat is a mix between a Serval and a domestic short hair cat. A Savannah Cat, known as the "Great Dane" of the cat family, usually weighs in at around 35 pounds (75 lbs. less than a typical cougar.) So in terms of raw feline firepower the campus appears to be safer. But we must not be lulled into a false sense of security. There is more going on here than is generally realized. Highly placed campus sources tell me the sightings had been going on for over a week - and the University was keeping it quiet.
First, do not under-estimate the Savannah Cat, a creature so dangerous it was banned in Australia (although no permits are needed to own one in the U.S.):
An assessment commissioned by the government found that the savannah cat posed an extreme threat... with a likelihood that each generation would retain the more efficient hunting traits of the wild African serval.If infiltration is the plan, not frontal assault - typical in asymmetric threats - then the Savannah Cat could prove to be a deadly foe. Its domestic cat side will ensure it has tremendous familiarity and knowledge of human society. The Serval, a small hunter has evolved enormous ears and will sit and listen for up to 15 minutes while on a hunt. A self-contained killing machine that combines collection and analytical capabilities.
[The Australian government stated it] would "not hesitate" to use [its] powers... to prevent the live import of any species or breed that poses a significant risk...
It is possible that some unknown corner of the University's research facilities scientists have engineered an uber-feline part animal, part machine - a cat-borg.
I will reiterate my concern - Redouble security around COLUSSUS ( the Internet backbone server at UMD) - some sort of cyber-feline alliance could be afoot!*
Also, based on this picture I found, it is clear a Savannah Cat could eat a small child - thus it is no accident that the beast was first sighted near the University's Center for Young Children.
(This picture comes from SelectExotics "a progressively innovative, TICA registered cattery that has continually been striving to produce the highest quality domesticated companions." So I guess if you wish to own one of these demon-spawn these are the people who can hook you up.)
Let me reiterate my previous call to the University of Maryland's feline intruder:
They will hunt you down and give you to someone qualified to take care of you. If such a boring, unchallenging life is what you seek, surrender. Otherwise, come to my office - I still have several pounds of raw meat waiting for you - and I can give you sanctuary.
*I am not worried that this bionic cat could somehow do damage to the Internet. Legend has it that there are enormous boxes of Legos from a defunct robotics lab somewhere in the bowels of the computer science department at MD. No one has ever found them (and I've looked high and low.) This Lego Dorado will probably never be found, because the Internet has appropriated them and is building a giant Legotron that will one day rise from its underworld home and do its cyber-master's bidding.