African Serval Cat Found Wandering Missouri Farm Sent to Rescue Sanctuary
It was a crazy day recently in Ava, Missouri, when a family discovered an African serval cat prowling around on their farm in the Ozark Mountains. They noted that they’d seen a lot of strange things over the years, but nothing like a cat that calls arid grasslands halfway around the world home. Eventually, the animal wandered into a live trap designed for releasing critters after they’ve received medical attention or for relocation purposes.
African Serval Cats
Widespread in sub-Saharan countries, except in rainforest regions, it is the sole member of the genus Leptailurus, but there are said to be three subspecies that are recognized. So, what was it doing in the middle of the Ozarks? That’s a good question, and so far no one has the answer or they’re simply not saying. However, a woman speaking in the video cryptically alludes to “a lady in Bruner that has gotten in trouble with them.”
Strange Wildlife Encounters
After the family discovered the animal in the trap, they reached out to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, via email on January 17. They explained that they had caught an African serval and told the sanctuary that the wildcat had been spotted on the property for about 6 months. The refuge rescues lions, tigers, and other big cats while working to end the exotic pet trade.
“Whenever it was little, I came home late one night, and it runs across the road. I thought, ‘Wow, that was a crazy looking cat,'” the landowner’s son related in the same video posted by the sanctuary to its YouTube channel.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
The refuge’s president, Tanya Smith, hypothesized that the cat had escaped from somewhere or was let go near the farm. “They had taken it to the vet and tried to find if it had a microchip in it, and it didn’t,” she stated. “There was no identification for this little African serval.”
But “little” is a subjective word here, as the cat weighs 30 pounds! Estimated to be about 6 years old, it had been living between hay bales on the farmers’ property where it had shelter and could drag its kills back to eat. Once she was brought back to the refuge, she was placed in their veterinary clinic quarantine area, where it was observed that she was full of parasites and worms.
“Nobody knew where this cat had come from,” Smith said. “She was full of fleas and had some other issues going on with some frostbite on her tail. Smith also mentioned she had recently took two phone calls from people who thought the animal might be their cat. She added, “How many are out there? Crazy!”
African servals are typically found south of the Sahara Desert, so the climate and terrain it’s been living in are nothing like home. The clip captured of the exchange between the landowners and the refuge can be seen in the video below.
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