An adult civet cat, a species native to Hong Kong that occasionally appears in urban areas, was spotted outside a building in Kennedy Town early on Sunday. The 45cm-long masked palm civet was seen lying on a rolled-up carpet outside the entrance of Tai Hong residential building on Holland Street at about 1am. Security staff called the police for help and officers alerted the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Before department personnel arrived, some makeshift barricades were laid down to keep the animal in place. But the civet appeared to be lethargic and stayed put on the carpet, allowing the animal control officers to capture it with a net. Wild boar, civet cats, barking deer: Hong Kong wild animals and where to find them The department later said the civet was handed to Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Tai Po. The animals have sometimes been spotted in urban areas. They can grow up to about 75cm, according to the department. Their musk gland is found at the base of the tail and there are dark marks around the eyes, while the cheeks and forehead are pale, creating a mask-like pattern. In February, a 25cm-long civet cat sneaked into Tung Wah Hospital on Po Yan Street in the same district. The juvenile was picked up and later released back into nature. In October 2017, a 60cm-long civet was found jumping between buildings on nearby Li Yuen Street West before it disappeared. Neighbours said it had been lingering there for a year, leading to speculation it might have been kept as a pet. Paul Crow, senior conservation officer at the farm’s wild animal rescue centre, said the species was widespread across the city, probably far more than the average person knew. The cats easily adapted to human environments, Crow said. Masked palm civets were once the world’s most widely distributed, from India across China and down to Indonesia, but numbers are thought to be dropping due to habitat changes and poaching. Civets were linked to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2002 and 2003.