Amiry, known as ‘cocaine cat’, has improved to the point that he has been moved to Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program (Pictures: AP /Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens)
A wild exotic feline dubbed ‘cocaine cat’ because it tested positive for crack has rehabbed at a zoo – so well that he has moved into an ambassador program.
Amiry the African serval was discovered high up on a tree in late January and captured in an ordeal that left him with a broken leg. Upon undergoing some tests, he was found to have cocaine in his system. Amiry was initially treated by Cincinnati Animal CARE and then transferred to the Cincinnati Zoo’s veterinary facility, where he has been recovering for weeks.
The wild cat’s condition has improved to the point that he was taken into the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program (CAP) on Thursday, a spokesperson for the initiative told WXIX.
‘Amiry is young and very curious. He is exploring his new space and eating well, both great signs of progress. The CAP team is very excited to have him in our care,’ said the ambassador program’s lead trainer Linda Castañeda on Friday.
The African serval was treated after it was found to have cocaine in its system (Picture: AP)
‘We are working on building trust and increasing his comfort as he adjusts to his new home.’
CAP ‘educates more than 150,000 people a year about the importance of cheetahs and other wild cat predators’, according to the zoo’s website. It was founded in 1980 by Cathryn Hilker, who loved cheetahs and ‘wanted to help save them and inspire people to care about them’. Cheetahs and servals are related and it is believed that cheetahs descended from servals.
Simultaneously on Thursday, Cincinnati Animal CARE provided an update on ‘Amiry, aka “#CocaineCat”‘.
The animal shelter recapped the sequence of events, starting with the Hamilton County Dog Wardens responding to reports of a ‘leopard’ and retrieving Amiry from a tree in Oakley, Ohio, thinking he was a F1 Savannah house cat.
African servals are considered dangerous and are illegal to have as pets in Ohio, where Amiry was found and captured by dog wardens (Picture: Cincinnati Animal CARE)
‘Amiry tested positive for exposure to cocaine and the DNA test concluded he was indeed a serval,’ stated the animal shelter.
The organization revealed that Amiry’s owner was cooperative and paid for the exotic cat’s care until ownership transfers to relinquish him into the shelter’s custody were finalized.
That was when the story went public.
‘The case does remain open and the Ohio Department of Agriculture is also investigating,’ stated Cincinnati Animal CARE, adding that anyone with information should reach out.
The African serval received initial treatment from Cincinnati Animal CARE veterinarians and was then transferred to Cincinnati Zoo (Picture: AP)
Cocaine cat’s story made ‘national and global news’, the shelter noted.
Amiry’s case was lightly reminiscent of Cocaine Bear, a film currently in theaters loosely based on a true 1985 story about a deranged grizzly who ate blow. The Hollywood flick follows the bear on a drug-fueled tear with human victims.
However, while servals are considered dangerous, all indications point to cocaine cat’s future being the opposite of a murderous rampage.
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