Cocaine Beer, hold my beer: Serval with drugs in his system is captured in Cincinnati after escaping while police arrested owner
- The 35-pound cat was rescued from a tree in Ohio after escaping from its owner
- DNA testing identified it as a serval and cocaine was found in his system
- The exotic animal can be three times the size of traditional cats and is native to Africa
An exotic cat with cocaine in its system was captured in Ohio after escaping from its owner’s car during a police arrest.
The 35-pound cat, initially thought to be a leopard, slipped out of the car when police opened one of the doors.
Once free, he hid in a tree before a traumatic rescue attempt left him with a broken leg.
The animal was taken to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens for treatment after a DNA test identified it as a serval named Amiry.
Servals are a type of wild cat native to Africa and illegal to own in Ohio.
They can grow more than three times the size of typical cats and can jump as high as ten feet.
The exotic cat, named Amiry, had cocaine in his body when he was rescued in Ohio
The serval hid in a tree in Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood after escaping from the owner’s car during a police arrest in January
The cat’s escape came about when police arrested the owner on January 28. When they opened one of the car doors, the cat slipped out and hid in a tree. Fox19 reported.
Hamilton County Dog Wardens responded to reports of a leopard sighting in Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood.
Ray Anderson of Cincinnati Animal CARE was present for the dramatic recapture and told Fox19 that more staff would have been helpful in retrospect.
‘[They weren’t] sure what they were dealing with,” he said. “In hindsight 20/20, probably a lot more people would have been involved.”
Anderson said the reluctant cat was “not thrilled” to be removed from the tree, which made the rescue operation particularly difficult.
“Obviously the cat didn’t want to get out of the tree, and our officers worked very hard to make sure they didn’t lose the cat, yes, the leg was broken,” he added.
The shelter’s medical staff tested the serval’s physical health and worked on his leg. As a standard part of the treatment, she also prepared a toxicological report.
“It came back positive for cocaine,” Anderson said. “Now we can’t say how the animal got the cocaine into its system. I don’t know if it was environmental or experimental.’
“Our first thought was that the cat was a hybrid F1 Savannah, which is legal to own in Ohio, but our expert was pretty sure that Amiry was a serval, which is illegal to own,” Anderson said. WLWT 5.
DNA testing at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens revealed that while it was initially thought to be a Savannah cat, it was in fact a serval.
Servals are illegal to own in Ohio and can grow to three times the size of regular cats
After being treated, the serval was transferred to a nearby zoo where he was reportedly ‘doing fine’
After her rehabilitation at the shelter, the cat was moved to the zoo. A spokesperson for the zoo said in a statement that it was receiving veterinary care and “doing well,” Fox19 reported.
“The next step is for our Cat Ambassador Program team to work with him and determine if he is fit to be an ambassador animal. He will probably be behind the scenes for a while,” said the spokesman.
Officials said the cat’s owner had cooperated with an investigation. Hamilton County Dog Wardens chose not to press charges.