Leigh’s Lost and Found: Wild African Serval cat found wandering loose in Ava, Mo.

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 12:26 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 12:45 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In today’s Leigh’s Lost and Found, what’s probably the most unusual found animal we’ve ever featured.

Imagine people’s surprise when an African Serval cat started being seen in Ava. A brave family ended up trapping it and called the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs to take over from there.

“It looks like we’re going on an emergency call for an African Serval near Ava, Missouri.”

This is not an unusual call for workers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

“I have seen it run across the road right here and I thought wow, that’s a crazy-looking cat.”

But it was very unusual for the family that trapped the wild cat after seeing it in the hay bales on their property.

Carly Hepburn with the refuge says, “they didn’t know what to do with it. They’d been seeing it for the past six months and they finally set up a live trap and were able to catch the Serval.”

Workers loaded the female cat up and took her back to the refuge in Eureka Springs.

Carly tells us, “we found that one of her toes was severely infected so we did have to treat that. And her tail has a wound at the very base of it so I think during the cold spell in Arkansas she probably got frostbite, so we did have to amputate her tail from the tip, so about an inch of her tail.”

The Serval is now recuperating in the refuge’s quarantine. She’s a little feisty but is already feeling much better. The vet says they got to her just in time.

“It would have likely been just a matter of weeks before she succumbed to all this so she’s lucky to be alive.”

She’ll stay at the refuge for the rest of her life. Now all she needs is a name.

Carly says, “we are looking for sponsors to be able to come out and name her since she doesn’t have a name. We’re going to be looking on our facebook and asking the public for sponsorship to help name her.”

If you’d like to find out more about sponsoring and naming the wild cat, click on the link to the refuge’s website.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com