U.S. NewsWeird


Wild cat found in Cincinnati neighborhood tests positive for cocaine

The serval was removed from a tree in a Cincinnati neighborhood. A narcotics test confirmed it had been exposed to cocaine.
Serval captured in Cincinnati
Posted at 10:53 AM, Mar 09, 2023

A big cat found loose in a Cincinnati neighborhood has tested positive for cocaine, officials said. 

Ray Anderson, a spokesperson with Cincinnati Animal CARE, said the dog wardens were alerted to reports of a "leopard" spotted in a tree in Oakley on Jan. 28. 

The cat had escaped from a car while the owner was being arrested by police.

A serval is being treated

'Cocaine cat' escaped owner, will now live at Cincinnati Zoo

The slender feline made its escape after its owner was pulled over by police on Jan. 28, according to local animal control officials.


.The dog wardens were able to retrieve the cat, named Amiry, from the tree and brought it to Cincinnati Animal CARE. Anderson said the medical team called in a big cat expert to determine what type of cat they were dealing with. 

"Our initial thought was the cat was a hybrid F1 Savannah, which is legal to own in Ohio, but our expert was pretty certain Amiry was a serval, which are illegal," said Anderson. 

A DNA test confirmed Amiry was, in fact, a serval. 

A narcotics test also confirmed Amiry was positive for exposure to cocaine, officials said.

An American alligator lurking in the water

Stolen alligator returned to Texas zoo 20 years later

The alligator was returned to the zoo after officials learned a woman wasn't complying with local regulations to keep the reptile.


Amiry was taken to the Cincinnati Zoo for care. Michelle Curley, spokesperson for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, said Amiry has been receiving veterinary care in the zoo's Animal Health Center since he arrived. 

"He's doing well and the next step will be for our Cat Ambassador Program team to work with him and determine if he's a good fit to be an ambassador animal," said Curley. 

Amiry will stay behind the scenes, so visitors shouldn't expect Cincinnati's "cocaine cat" to be incorporated into an exhibit any time soon.

Despite it being illegal to own a serval in Ohio, officials said Amiry's owner has cooperated with the investigation and the Hamilton County Dog Wardens are not pursuing charges, though the case remains open. The Ohio Department of Agriculture is investigating as well. 

"We're extremely proud of the work done in this case by the dog wardens and medical staff and are immensely appreciative to the Cincinnati Zoo for getting Amiry the care he needs," said Anderson. 

This story was originally reported by Scripps News Cincinnati.