Rocky the runaway wildcat possibly spotted 200 miles from home

Wildlife camera image of a cat who looks like Rocky in Farquay-Varina on Sept. 17.

A wildlife camera recently picked up an image that sure looks like Rocky, the infamous Outer Banks runaway, more than 200 miles away in the Fuquay-Varina area of North Carolina.

Rocky, an African serval, hadn’t been seen since May, when he turned up in a Chesapeake neighborhood near the Great Dismal Swamp.

Rocky’s owner, Brian Hankins, said in a Facebook post he’s working with property owners in the area to set traps in another attempt to bring the wayward wildcat home to Martins Point.

Rocky was possibly spotted in the Farquay-Varina area on Sept. 17.

Rocky has been on the run since Oct. 23, 2018. He was wearing a tracking collar, but the batteries died shortly after his breakout.

This spring, Rocky made big news when he turned up in Virginia Beach. Despite many sightings and traps set, the cat continued to evade capture.

In May, Rocky was seen in a neighborhood near the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and then seemingly disappeared. Until Sept. 17, when a cat that looks a lot like Rocky was captured on a wildlife camera, far away from the Outer Banks.

Rocky is a domesticated cat, for the most part, friendly to humans and dogs. He has been known to kill pet chickens, however.

Serval cats are considered the most successful hunters among African wildcats, but as pets they are known as extraordinary escape artists.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at