A JUNGLE creature which was caught after roaming the gardens of Halesowen earlier this year has finally been rehomed.

The RSPCA captured the Asian palm civet in February after it strayed into a garage on the Huntlands estate.

But finding a home for the wild cat-like mammal, which had mystified homeowners who spotted it on the prowl, proved difficult.

Its owner failed to come forward and the RSPCA cared for it until finding a new home at an undisclosed location in the south of England.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "We are delighted that the civet has been rehomed to people who can provide the specialist care and environment she requires.”

The animal charity added a warning to people about the difficulties and responsibilities of having an exotic pet.

The spokesman added: “We would like to remind anyone considering owning an exotic pet species to research the animal's needs thoroughly first to find out how to care for it properly and consider whether it is a realistic pet for you.

“It can be challenging to meet the needs of exotic animals, which you must do by law under the Animal Welfare Act."

The civet, which bit Dan Bennett on his hand as it tried to break into his quail pen in his garden in Kenswick Drive, was spotted at several locations over a couple of weeks.

It was caught by an RSPCA inspector after taking shelter from the rain in the garage at the Belbroughton Road home of Kate and Jamie Goodman.

Civets are at risk in their native environment from being caught for bush meat, the pet trade and civet farms producing kopi luwak coffee - the world's most expensive coffee, which sells in London for £60 a cup.

The civet climbs coffee trees to find the best berries, eats them and eventually the coffee beans come out in its stools complete. Coffee farmers harvest the droppings and take the beans to processing plants, but there is a growing trade in which they are caged and force-fed the beans.

The coffee is said to have a "gamy" flavour.