VERNON HILLS, Ill. — An African serval cat is dead after escaping from its home in Vernon Hills Saturday, police said.

According to police, police responded to a call of a cat on the loose that had chased and cornered a neighbor who had been walking her dog nearby.

While trying to track the animal, officers identified it as a serval, wild cat species native to Africa. As the cat was located, the owners assisted police in capturing the cat and transporting it to their nearby home.

It was concluded the cat had escaped while the owners were not home and that it was on the loose for three hours.

In the process of transportation, the cat sustained multiple injuries and died as a result of it. No other animals or individuals were injured in the process.

Chief Patrick L. Kreis said in a statement:

“This is an unfortunate incident, and we extend our condolences to the animal’s owners for their loss. “The keeping of exotic pets in suburban environments, though, is not without risk.

According to documents, possession of servals is not illegal in Illinois, only the sale of them is prohibited.