Cincinnati Zoo takes in exotic cat with cocaine in system

(CNN NEWSOURCE) — An exotic cat native to Africa escaped its owner’s car, and it wasn’t your typical “cat in a tree” rescue.

It happened during a police stop in Ohio and the cat not only suffered a leg injury during the encounter but it was also found to have cocaine in its system.

“We got called in to get the cat out of the tree,” said Ray Anderson, who works for both Cincinnati Animal Care and the Hamilton County dog warden.

Anderson says that initially the cat was described as a leopard, but officers soon learned that this cat was a serval.

“I think Hamilton County dog wardens were mostly surprised and not quite sure what they were dealing with. Hindsight being 2020. It probably would have involved a whole lot more people,” he said.

Anderson added that the serval weighed around 30 to 35 pounds and was not excited to be removed from the tree but was successfully rescued.

Officers then called an exotic cat expert to learn what to do next.

“He told us, ‘I don’t know how an officer got this cat out of a tree. I’d rather deal with a tiger.’ So in that case…” Anderson said.

The medical staff at Animal Care provided several tests to check on the cat’s physical health.

“In the process of getting the cat out of the tree, obviously, the cat didn’t want to get out of the tree and our officers were working very hard to make sure they didn’t lose the cat in the process. Yes, the leg was broken in the process. I know he’s healing,” he added.

After doctors worked on the serval’s leg, they conducted a toxicology report.

“Did come back positive for cocaine. Now, we can’t say how the animal got cocaine in the system. I don’t even know if it was just incidental environmental or anything like that, but it did test positive,” he said.

After the cocaine findings, the Hamilton County dog wardens conducted an investigation.

“Hamilton County dog wardens were looking into the possibility of pressing charges, but everybody was very cooperative in this case and we didn’t feel it was necessary,” he added.

The Cincinnati Zoo where the serval is recovering says he may become part of the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program once he’s recovered.

Categories: US & World News, World News