In a bizarre case of wildlife imitating art, an African serval cat rescued from a tree in Ohio tested positive for cocaine, according to the animal rescue group who nursed the strung-out animal back to health. Rest assured, the story has a much happier ending than Cocaine Bear and the wild cat is now living its best life at Cincinnati Zoo.
Explaining the incident on Facebook, Cincinnati Animal CARE said their Hamilton County Dog Wardens division received reports of an "exotic cat" that was stuck in a tree in the early hours of January 28. They managed to capture the animal and called up their big cat expert to help deal with the situation.
It was first speculated that the cat was a hybrid F1 Savannah, which is legal to own in Ohio – but the expert suggested it was actually a serval, a wild cat native to Africa which is illegal in the state. DNA analysis later confirmed this suspicion.
They named the cat Amiry. Following a case where a capuchin monkey tested positive for methamphetamine in early 2022, Cincinnati Animal CARE said it’s become standard procedure to test captured exotic animals for drugs.
To their surprise, Amiry tested positive for exposure to cocaine.
As their facility was not prepared to deal with the species and this unique situation, the serval was transferred to Cincinnati Zoo where they received some of the best veterinary care available. The cat’s owner was reportedly cooperative and agreed to pay for their treatment until the ownership transfer was completed.
“We're extremely proud of the work done in this case by the Dog Wardens and Medical Staff and are immensely appreciative to the Cincinnati Zoo for getting Amiry the care he needs,” Cincinnati Animal CARE said on social media.
“And now that Amiry is safe, we remind our community that there will be thousands of dogs, cats, and other animals in need of rescue entering our facility this year who will not receive this level of publicity. Please visit your county animal shelter before going to breeder when searching for your next pet,” they added.
In other drug-addled animal news, Australian police busted a crystal meth lab in 2016 and discovered a 1.8-meter (6-foot) pet python was living there. The python, who “cannot be named for legal reason”, was acting aggressively and it became apparent it had been exposed to the methamphetamine particles.
It looks like there's plenty of inspiration for the inevitable sequel and Netflix spin-off of Cocaine Bear.