Ohio: Zoo-rehabilitated ‘cocaine cat’ transfers to Cat Ambassador program
A feral exotic cat, dubbed the ‘cocaine cat’ because of its positive crack test, has been rehabilitated at a zoo – so well it’s been placed in an ambassador program.
Amiry, the African serval, was discovered high up in a tree in late January and captured in an ordeal that left him with a broken leg. Some tests found he had 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 feral cat’s condition has improved enough that it was accepted into the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program (CAP) on Thursday, a spokesman for the initiative told WXIX.
“Amiry is young and very curious. He’s exploring his new habitat and eating well, both big signs of progress. The CAP team is delighted to have him in our care,” said Ambassador Program Head Coach Linda Castañeda on Friday.
“We are working to build confidence and increase his comfort as he adjusts to his new home.”
CAP “educates more than 150,000 people annually on the importance of cheetahs and other big cats,” 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 take care of them”. Cheetahs and servals are related and cheetahs are believed to have descended from servals.
At the same time, Cincinnati Animal CARE released an update on “Amiry aka “#CocaineCat”” on Thursday.
The shelter summarized the sequence of events, beginning with Hamilton County Canine Wardens responding to reports of a “leopard” and pulling Amiry out of a tree in Oakley, Ohio, thinking he was an F1 Savannah housecat .
“Amiry tested positive for cocaine exposure and DNA testing revealed he was in fact a serval,” the shelter said.
The organization revealed that Amiry’s owner was cooperative and paid for the exotic cat’s care until the ownership transfer was complete, in order to place him in the shelter’s care.
At that time, the story went public.
“The case remains open and the Ohio Department of Agriculture is also investigating,” Cincinnati told Animal CARE, adding that anyone with information should contact the case.
The cocaine cat’s story made “national and global news,” the shelter noted.
Amiry’s case was slightly reminiscent of Cocaine Bear, a film currently in theaters that is loosely based on a 1985 true story about a deranged grizzly who has eaten a punch. The Hollywood flick follows the bear on a drug-fuelled rift that leaves human victims.
Although servals are considered dangerous, all indications are that the cocaine cat’s future will be anything but a homicidal rampage.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/15/ohio-cocaine-cat-rehabbed-at-zoo-moves-to-feline-ambassador-program-18443906/ Ohio: Zoo-rehabilitated 'cocaine cat' transfers to Cat Ambassador program