Could you imagine seeing a gorgeous yet strange-looking cat prowling around your property for six months, only to discover that it wasn’t a “domesticated cat” you kept seeing? That’s exactly what happened to a farmer in Missouri. He kept seeing a cat with “crazy markings.”
Only, it wasn’t an exotic house cat, but a wild African serval that had been living amongst his hay bales.
Tigger is a 30-pound, Savannah Cat. She’s a cross between a domestic cat and an African Serval and is estimated to be six years old. And for six long months, she had been living on a farm and surviving on birds, rats, and mice that she hunted on the property.
“I came home late one night, and it runs across the road. I thought, wow, that was a crazy-looking cat,” said the farmer’s son.
It was likely that the farmer was able to catch her in a live trap because she was super sick, and it was significantly slowing her down. Savannah cats have become popular exotic pets, but they’re constantly being surrendered to animal rescues because of their wild temperament. It’s quite likely that Tigger was living as someone’s pet or was being used as a breeder and was either purposely released into the wild or escaped.
Once the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge veterinarians were able to give her a proper examination, they realized that Tigger was in really rough shape. She was suffering from a severe toe infection that needed to be drained and treated with antibiotics. She was incredibly anemic from an awful flea infestation. Plus, she needed to have the tip of her tail amputated. It was damaged due to frostbite, because of being exposed to such harsh winter weather.
After all, she’s an African wild cat and isn’t suited to such cold temperatures. Tigger is actually extremely lucky to have been captured by that live trap. She was in really rough shape, and some severe winter weather was about to hit the farm where she was living. Veterinarians think she only would have lasted a couple more weeks before she succumbed to her circumstances.
Now that she’s been rescued, Tigger will live the rest of her life at the sanctuary, relaxing and playing in their heated buildings and luxurious enclosures that are perfect for wild cats indigenous to Africa. Even though the Big Cat Act is now law, there is still a long way to go in protecting smaller cats.
You can check out a video of the news report about her capture below.
Featured Image: Facebook