It should be routine. During a traffic stop, a cat escaped from the car and climbed up a tree. Animal welfare should get her down. But then it turned out to be a bit more complicated. The animal, which defended itself strongly, was a dangerous big cat. And she was on cocaine, too.

“We were called to get this cat out of the tree,” Ray Anderson of Animal Welfare Cincinnati told USA Today. “But the animal was anything but enthusiastic about being taken down.” And resisted with all his might.

The fact that it was able to defend itself much more vigorously than a house cat was due to the fact that it wasn’t one. Although the animal rights activists initially suspected a so-called Savannah cat, it later turned out to be a genuine Serval through a genetic test. The African big cats are up to three times the size of domestic cats and can weigh up to 20 kilos. The serval that was pulled from the tree weighed about 15 to 17 kilos, Anderson told “Fox”.

“At first we weren’t sure what we were dealing with,” he explains. “Otherwise we would certainly have involved more people.” The big cat put up a strong fight. “Unfortunately, she broke her leg during the rescue,” reports Anderson. They only found out afterwards that the action was life-threatening for his people, when an expert on exotic cats was called in. He was amazed that they even got the serval down from the tree. “He told us, ‘I’d rather mess with a tiger,'” Anderson recalls. The head of the local dog catcher was even more drastic about the local broadcaster “WKRC”: “We were pretty lucky. This cat could have shredded us and killed us.”

A possible reason for the aggressiveness of the animal was only discovered afterwards. In a toxicological study, animal rights activists found that the cat, named Amiry, had cocaine in its blood. According to “CBS”, the examination is a routine check. Because meth was found in a monkey’s blood last year, all animals would now be tested for drugs, Anderson told the broadcaster.

It is not yet clear how the drugs got into Amiry’s system. Animal rights activists confirmed to several media outlets that the owner was cooperative and initially wanted to refrain from indictment. It is not yet clear how Amiry came into his possession. Owning servals is actually illegal in Ohio. However, he won’t get Amiry back. The cat was given to the Cincinnati Zoo. And now he has to recover from the consequences of the rescue operation.

Sources: CBS, USA Today, WKRC, Fox19