Meet “Mondo!” Our Cat or the Week at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

In early January, our President Tanya Smith received a phone call that a farmer in Missouri had caught a strange-looking cat in a live trap. Without delay, Tanya hopped into a Refuge rescue vehicle and made the trip to the Ozark Mountains. The farmer had explained that he had seen the “stranger-looking cat” roaming his property for a 6 month period. He recognized that the cat was not a native species and knew it wouldn’t be able to survive the cold and snowy winter in the mountains.

Mondo, meaning “serval” in Swahili, was given her name through a generous supporter of the Refuge. The African cat is well adapted to the warm African climate but likely would have not made it through the winter here in the United States. Turpentine Creek and our colleagues have seen a very alarming number of reports of exotic cats roaming the US. This is likely coming from an increase in the small cat exotic trade that uses servals to breed Savannah cats.

During Mondo’s exam, Dr Kellyn found a number of medical concerns, one of which required her to amputate the tip of the serval’s tail. In addition, Mondo was anemic, infested with fleas, and had an infected wound on her toe. If it was not for the quick action taken by our President and staff at Turpentine Creek, Dr. Kellyn estimates she would not have survived more than another week or two out in the wild and on her own.

Mondo will continue to recover in the Veterinary Hospital where she can be closely monitored until she has a clear bill of health. Then, we hope to introduce her to one of the other serval groups at the Refuge. She is also open for adoption!

Thanks to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge for sponsoring this segment!