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The 'Cocaine Cat' Is Recovering at Cincinnati Zoo as a 'Cat Ambassador.' The illegal serval was rescued from a tree and brought to the hospital, where vets discovered he had cocaine in his system.

By Jonathan Small

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many may be familiar with Cocaine Bear, the comedy thriller based on the true story of a black bear found dead near a duffle bag loaded with $2 million worth of cocaine.

But have you heard about Cocaine Cat?

There's no movie yet— but thankfully, his story has a happy ending.

Earlier this year, a 35-pound African serval — named Amiry — escaped from a car that police had pulled over for a traffic stop in Cincinnati.

The freaked-out feline ran up a tree. During the rescue by local animal control, Amiry broke his slender leg.

Photo by: Cincinnati Animal CARE/Facebook

He was admitted to Cincinnati Animal CARE, where the medical team tested him for narcotics. The hospital explained on Facebook that this "has become standard procedure for 'exotic' animals after we seized custody of Neo, a capuchin monkey who tested positive for methamphetamine in early 2022."

They soon discovered that Amiry was strung out on cocaine.

Photo by: Cincinnati Animal CARE/Facebook

Recovering at the zoo

In Ohio, it's illegal to own serval cats—not to mention snort cocaine. Amiry's owner was not arrested, but he did have to relinquish the cat to the Cincinnati Zoo.

The zoo announced on Facebook that Amiry is on the mend.

"Amiry's health has improved enough after receiving care in our veterinary facility that we were able to move him to the Cat Ambassador Program area yesterday. He is still recovering from a leg injury, so the CAP team will keep an eye on that before allowing him to run, jump, and engage in other activities that might impair healing. They will concentrate on helping him acclimate to a new environment and his new care team," they wrote.

So where did Amiry get the blow? The police are still investigating if Amiry's ingestion of cocaine was accidental or forced. Charges against his former owner are still on the table, Troy Taylor, the chief dog warden for Hamilton County, told CityBeat.

What is a serval?

The serval is a wild cat native to Africa. It has a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat spotted and striped with black, and a short, black-tipped tail. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size.

The cats have grown in popularity as pets recently— and are legal in certain states. According to Pets4You, they can cost anywhere from $1000 to $1500.

Still, many animal experts don't support the trend, saying servals require a balanced diet and specialized care way beyond a house cat.

"There are way better options for pets that are way more safe, economically smart, and sustainable," Julie Sheldon, clinical assistant professor of zoo medicine at the University of Tennessee, told the Associated Press.

Photo by: Cincinnati Zoo

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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