You may have heard of “Cocaine Bear,” a recent box office hit, but have you heard of “Cocaine Cat”? It’s the latest viral sensation based on a true story that recently made headlines.
In Cincinnati, a wild cat named Amiry was captured and found to have cocaine in its system. Unlike “Cocaine Bear,” which is set in the 1980s, Amiry’s story happened earlier this year.
Amiry, a serval, was kept as a pet and escaped from his owner’s car during a police stop in January. The Hamilton County Dog Wardens were able to retrieve him and bring him back to the shelter.
There, the medical team identified his species and tested him for narcotics. The test results revealed that Amiry had been exposed to cocaine.
It’s become standard protocol for the shelter to test for narcotics for any animal that is more “exotic” than the usual household pet, following a previous case where a capuchin monkey named Neo was found to have ingested Xanax and/or cocaine.
Neo was seized from his Cincinnati home and treated for amphetamines. The shelter was able to treat Amiry’s agitation and transport him to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, where he has been recovering from a broken leg.
The Cat Ambassador Program at the zoo aims to educate visitors about the importance of wild cat predators and raise money for cheetah conservation efforts.
Amiry’s health has improved enough for him to move to the area of the program, and he is doing well. The case remains open pending additional evidence, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture is investigating.
While this story has gone viral, it’s important to remember that thousands of dogs, cats, and other animals in need of rescue enter shelters each year and don’t receive this level of publicity.
The Cincinnati Animal Care shelter urges people to visit their county animal shelter when searching for their next pet.
This story is not only about the dangers of keeping exotic animals as pets but also about the importance of responsible pet ownership and the role of animal shelters in caring for and protecting animals.
It also highlights the need for caution when encountering wild or agitated animals and the importance of contacting local animal control.
If you come across an exotic or agitated animal, keep your distance as much as possible and let professionals handle the situation. It could not only be a life or death situation for yourself but for the animal as well.
Amiry’s story serves as a reminder that wild animals should remain in the wild and not be kept as pets. It’s up to us to take action to protect animals and to support our local animal shelters.
Let’s spread the word and encourage responsible pet ownership, so more animals can be rescued and given a second chance at a happy life.
This article by Nicholas Vincent was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 12 March 2023.
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