DELAVAN -- Two exotic cats have been stolen from a petting zoo in the town of Delavan and the owners are now offering a reward and pleading for the safe return of the baby lynx.
The owners of the Animal Gardens Petting Zoo worry the people who have the cats will accidentally hurt them or worse.
"Someone came through the gates, scoped out the barn and stole our two baby Lynx," said worker and performer Christine Zerbini.
All the workers had been enjoying a party for the Fourth of July the night before the holiday. They came back to check all the animals and head for bed. Zerbini said the Animal Gardens surveillance video caught a black truck driving onto the grounds and leaving with, Mowgli and Baloo, the 8 week-old Siberian lynx.
"They are about the size of a three-month-old kitten but stockier and bigger paws," said Zerbini.
Despite looking cute and cuddly the Lynx are not pets. They will become 80-pound cats. The Animal Gardens' fear is whoever has the animals might think they can raise them.
"They do require extra care. You cannot feed them cat food. You can't feed them milk. They have a special diet," Zerbini said.
The theft was reported to police who have the surveillance video. But workers are also worried someone with no experience in raising exotic animals has them and might try to sell them on the black market.
"If you don't know the care that goes into them they can get up either very ill or dead," Zerbini said.
The owners are offering a $1,000 reward for the safe return of the animals. But they are also hoping whoever has them will just drop them back off.