- Wonder why abusing drugs and owning exotic animals seem to correlate so often.
Cocaine Bear is currently making rounds in the theaters. It might not be critically acclaimed, but enough people thought it worth seeing that it’s made double what it cost.
And although the movie takes some (ridiculously exaggerated) creative freedoms, it’s loosely based on a true story. So, the directors are currently probably looking for material to make a sequel.
We may just have what they seek. Everybody, meet Cocaine Cat.
Amiry is a male serval, a species of wild cat found in sub-Saharan Africa. But Amiry resides in Ohio, not Africa.
And he was found with cocaine coursing through his veins.
Hamilton County Dog Wardens (HCDW), a division of Cincinnati Animal Care (CAC), rescued Amiry from a Cincinnati tree in January. A routine drug test later showed that there the cat had narcotics in his system.
Fortunately, the drugs don’t seem to have harmed the serval. Unfortunately, Amiry did suffer a broken leg as he tried to run from his rescuers.
Now, Amiry is recovering with experienced caretakers at the Cincinnati Zoo. His previous owner is reportedly collaborating with the cops, despite potential drug, animal cruelty, and animal importation charges.
What, did you think Amiry swam from Africa to Ohio on his own?
The ‘Leopard’ in the Tree
On January 28, HCDW received several bizarre reports, CAC wrote on its Facebook. According to various members of the public, they had spotted a “leopard” or a “large exotic cat” in a tree in the Oakley neighborhood of Cincinnati.
The reports stated that the beast had escaped police officers, climbed a tree, and was now refusing to come down. Duty-bound — and no doubt curious to see what on earth was going on — HCDW staff members arrived at the scene.
They rather quickly realized that the creature in the tree was not a leopard. It was definitely exotic, though, so the HCDW decided to take the animal in.
But Amiry, as he was later identified, is a slipper cat. We don’t have the exact details of what happened during the rescue, but we know that the poor animal somehow broke his leg in the tussle.
As a silver lining, the injury slowed Amiry down enough for the HCDW to capture him before he could come to further harm. They were then left with one question.
Just what kind of an animal was Amiry?
‘He Tested Positive’
HCDW took Amiry to their parent organization CAC. The medical team suspected that he was an F1 Hybrid Savannah cat.
However, CAC needed confirmation. So, they called a large cat expert — who has previously provided his expertise on the Tiger King case, among others.
The expert took one look at Amiry and stated that he’s probably a serval. There was no mistaking the long legs, slender neck, and big ol’ ears.
CAC wanted to be certain, though, so they took a DNA test. And they also tested Amiry for drugs.
If you’re wondering why, hang on. We’ll get to that.
“Amiry tested positive for exposure to cocaine and the DNA test concluded he was indeed a serval,” CAC wrote.
As the CAC facility was not equipped to care for a serval, Amiry was taken to the Cincinnati Zoo.
“His owner was cooperative and paid for Amiry’s care until all ownership transfers were finalized, which is when this story went public,” said CAC.
Good on the owner for providing for their animal’s care. But not so good for leaving their drugs where Amiry could get to them — or owning Amiry in the first place.
You see, servals are illegal to own in Ohio (unlike arm-biting zebras). The investigation is currently pending, but it’s likely the owner will face a whole stack of charges.
One Drugged Animal Too Many
Right, but why did CAC decide to test Amiry for drugs? It’s both sad and hilarious that drug tests are now standard procedures whenever the organization deals with exotic animals.
It’s all because of Neo. He was a capuchin monkey that came to CAC in early 2022 and tested positive for meth.
According to animal welfare prosecutors, when the monkey arrived at CAC, he looked like “he’d been in a concentration camp.” That was the last straw for CAC, and it decided that it would henceforth test any exotic beasts for drugs as a safeguard against their neglectful junkie owners.
Fortunately, both Neo and Amiry are now doing well and living a safe and drug-free lifestyle. Here’s hoping CAC won’t have to deal with another drugged-up animal any time soon.