Search continues for serval loose in Mississippi for several months


A serval named Arya is still on the loose in Mississippi.

The owner of an African serval that’s been on the loose in Mississippi for nearly three months is offering a $500 reward for her safe return.


The African wildcat, named Arya, escaped from Shanna Smith’s Richland home on September 16 after somehow opening a door and letting herself outside, according to a social media post.



“I believe she is alive and well, just probably in the woods with her wild instinct switch flipped on,” Smith said in a social media post.


On November 4, Arya was spotted in Florence, about six miles from the home she escaped from.



On November 29, Smith posted on social media that Arya was spotted in Raymond, about twenty miles from where she had escaped.



Also on November 29, Smith was distraught to learn that someone posted on a hunting website that they had shot Arya, along with a photo of a dead serval. The post turned out to be a hoax.


“I’m just so thankful to know she’s still out there and I can still possibly get her home,” Smith said.


On December 8, Arya was spotted in Clinton, about 16 miles from where she escaped and about nine miles from where the wildcat was last spotted.



Smith is offering a $500 reward for Arya’s capture and return.


“Be on the alert not to harm her thinking she is dangerous,” she said.