Imagine being a farmer, working hard on your land day in and day out. You come across an unexpected visitor who you believe to be just another stray cat.
Little did you know, what you stumbled upon was no ordinary feline.
This is the story of one farmer's encounter with a rare and beautiful African Serval cat and how it forever changed his perspective on wildlife.
In January 2023, a farmer in Missouri was shocked to discover a wild African Serval cat living among his hay bales. The strange cat had been spotted around the property for several months and the farmer initially assumed it was just a feral cat.
Once the cat had been trapped, the farmer realized he had stumbled upon a rare and majestic wild animal.
Realizing that he needed specialized help, he reached out to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. This organization is based in Arkansas and specializes in rescuing and caring for large wild cats.
On the Road to Recovery
The Serval cat, who was later determined to be female, weighed in at 29 pounds and was estimated to be 5 years old.
She was in rough shape, with a badly infected toe from a puncture wound, flea infestation, and anemia. Her tail had even suffered frostbite damage and had to be amputated.
Despite her injuries, the Serval cat was still managing to hunt and find food, a testament to her strength and resilience.
She was fortunate to be found when she was, as the veterinarian treating her believed she would have been unlikely to survive the harsh Missouri winter in her weakened state.
Now, the Serval cat is in the care of a shelter, where she is recovering in her own enclosure and receiving the necessary medical treatment.
The shelter is keeping a close eye on her with three cameras monitoring her at all times, ensuring her safety and well-being.
About Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was established in 1991 by Don and Hilda Jackson, former Dallas Zoo employees, after they acquired 42 lions, tigers, and cougars from a breeder and black-market dealer.
The couple sold everything they had, bought a 460-acre ranch in the Ozarks and built a sanctuary for the rescued animals, as well as their own lion cubs Bum and Sheila.
Over the years, they received calls from private owners about abused, neglected, and abandoned big cats and dedicated their lives to caring for them. Today, the organization is led by Tanya Smith (featured in the video above).
Feline Wonders in Your Backyard
The discovery of this wild African Serval cat in Missouri is a remarkable and fascinating story, reminding us of the unexpected wonders that can be found in our own backyard.
It's also a testament to the incredible resilience and survival instincts of these magnificent animals. We can only imagine where this wild Serval cat came from and what adventures she has been on.