Woman terrified after waking up to find African wild cat inches from her face

A woman got the fright of her life after waking up to find an African wild cat on her bed.

Kristine Frank was woken up by the exotic feline coming as close as six inches to her face in Brookhaven, Atlanta, Georgia in the US.

The spotted cat, known as a serval, snuck into Kristine's home after getting through a door left open by her husband, who had taken their dog out for a walk.

A "terrified" Kristine said she reacted by scaring it off the bed, CNN reports.

She told the US news outlet: "I said, 'That's not a normal house cat. I don't know what that is, but I am terrified right now.'

"Afterwards I was like, 'Was that a bobcat? Was it a leopard? Was it a baby? Was it a mom?'"

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now investigating where the cat escaped from.

Kristine added: "It still kind of terrifies me because that cat is illegal and there's a reason it's illegal. So I really don't know what it's capable of doing."

The cat, which Kristine estimates to be about 2-and-a-half feet tall, is still thought to be at large.

Owning a wild cat is illegal in Georgia, but the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) states there are no federal laws banning them nationwide.

ALDF Senior Legislative Affairs Manager Alicia Prygoski told CNN this case shows exactly why wild cats should be illegal pets everywhere, because owning them puts neighbours at risk.

Ms Prygoski said: "Wild cats are not meant for private possession. The wild cat trade in this country is really not well regulated, which results in many species of wild cats, including servals, living out their lives in private homes which are not adequate environments for the natural behaviours that they exhibit."

The DNR has been working to set up traps in Kristine's community.

Prygoski added: "When law enforcement is hopefully able to trap her we hope that she is then set to an accredited sanctuary where she can live out the rest of her life in an appropriate habitat."

Ms Prygoski warns says anyone who sees the serval to stay away and contact animal control or the DNR.

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