A wild serval cat that was found with cocaine in its system after an escape during a traffic stop has been rehomed to the Cincinnati Zoo. The feline’s story has garnered attention online and social media users have dubbed it the “cocaine cat”.
According to local animal control officials, the slender feline made its escape after its owner was pulled over by police on January 28th. The cat leapt from the car into a nearby tree. The owner of the cat was found to be in violation of Ohio law, which prohibits owning the animals. Servals, which can weigh up to 40 pounds, have become increasingly popular as pets and have appeared in TikTok videos.
The Hamilton County Dog Wardens, local animal control, were called around 2am in the residential Oakley neighbourhood. During the rescue mission, the cat, named Amiry, broke its leg and became more agitated. Once Amiry was taken in for medical care by Cincinnati Animal CARE, a drug test was conducted and the team discovered that Amiry had cocaine in its system.
Ray Anderson of Cincinnati Animal CARE confirmed that the owner of Amiry had relinquished custody of the cat to the animal welfare organization before it was transferred to the care of the Cincinnati Zoo. Julie Sheldon, a clinical assistant professor of zoo medicine at the University of Tennessee, emphasized that owning a serval is a significant responsibility that requires a balanced diet and specialized care beyond that of a house cat.
“There are way better options for pets that are way more safe, economically smart and sustainable,” she said.
The Cincinnati Animal CARE receives around 8,000 animals a year, according to Anderson, who encourages people not to keep wild animals as pets. Instead, he suggests that animal lovers should “save a whole lot of money and get a really awesome house cat at your local animal shelter.”
This case comes just weeks after the release of “Cocaine Bear,” a movie based on the true story of a 175-pound black bear found dead near a duffle bag and some £1.5 million worth of cocaine. The coincidence has caused the story of the “cocaine cat” to trend online.
In addition to the health risks associated with owning wild animals, it is illegal in many places, including the United States, to keep them as pets. It is important for pet owners to research and understand the laws surrounding ownership of certain species and to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of both the animals and the people around them.
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