An African serval cat who was found with cocaine in his system after an escape from a traffic stop now calls the Cincinnati Zoo home, much to the delight of social media users still amused by the recent release of the film “Cocaine Bear.”
The story of the wildcat caused a stir online, where users relished the absurdity of horror comedywho riffs the true story of a 175-pound black bear that was found dead near a sports bag and approximately $2 million worth of cocaine. Predictably, social media users dubbed the serval “cocaine cat.”
The slender feline escaped after its owner was arrested by police on January 28, according to local animal control officials. He jumped out of the car into a tree.
Ray Anderson of Cincinnati Animal CARE said local animal control, Hamilton County Dog Wardens, was called around 2 a.m. in the residential area of Oakley.
In Ohio, it is illegal to own the animals, which can weigh up to 40 pounds. During the rescue mission, the cat named Amiry broke his paw and became more restless.
After Amiry was taken to Cincinnati Animal CARE for medical care, the team performed a drug test in which they determined that Amiry had cocaine in her system.
This isn’t the first time Cincinnati Animal CARE, which operates as the county’s animal shelter, has tested positive for the drug in wild animals. In 2022, the group took in a capuchin monkey, named Neo, who had methamphetamine in his system.
Since that case, it has become standard procedure for the shelter to test exotic animals that come into the shelter for drugs, Anderson said.
Anderson confirmed that Amiry’s owner turned over custody of the cat to Cincinnati Animal CARE before he was taken into the care of the Cincinnati Zoo.
Servals have grown in popularity, with some appearing in TikTok videos as pets. Julie Sheldon, clinical assistant professor of zoological medicine at the University of Tennessee, said a serval is a major responsibility that requires a balanced diet and specialized care beyond a house cat.
“There are much better options for pets that are much safer, economically smarter and more sustainable,” she said.
Cincinnati Animal CARE receives about 8,000 animals a year, Anderson said.
Instead of trying to keep a wild animal as a pet, Anderson said, “You could save a lot of money and get a really awesome house cat at your local animal shelter.”