Cybil Serval at Big Cat Rescue


hear big catsCybil

Female Serval
DOB 5/22/96 – 3/20/2015


Cybil had a back leg that was fractured beyond repair and it healed very crooked. It was thought that someday we would have the leg removed, but she hops around just fine and the leg has not atrophied as expected. She is probably one of the meanest Servals that lives at Big Cat Rescue. She always greets with a hiss (as shown in this photo). Because Cybil does not like people very much she is not on the regular tour path. That way she will not be upset by visitors. Cybil is the perfect example that not all hand reared exotics will grow up to be docile.


Most of our servals were rescued from people who got them as pets and were not prepared for the fact that male or female, altered or not, they all spray buckets of urine when they become adults. Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.”


Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid 1990’s.  Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE





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Tributes to Cybil Serval

Lynda Licht Aug 22, 2015
One of my most clear memories was the day I had to wrestle a water snake away from Cybil. This girl showed no signs of being handicapped and the snake knew it. Cybil didn’t like having her snake taken away for sure. Now that you are free and without pain or a bum leg, the snakes in heaven better watch out!! RIP Cybs.

Regina Rinaldi Mar 28, 2015
Cybie, I always loved your hissy self. You were a fighter and had a feisty spirit. I loved you for that. You showed me that even on three legs you could hold your own. I love you Cybie and will miss you. You are now free.

Carole Baskin Mar 27, 2015
I’ve always felt awful about Cybil. She was born here, back before we knew any better, on 5/22/96 to Lucky Serval and a male named Nairobi.

We had a pretty, young woman, named Katie French, who would come in for the midnight, 2am and 4am feedings from 1994-1996. One morning when Cybil was 8 weeks old I took her out of her crate to feed her and her back leg was crushed beyond all recognition. The vet, Dr. Stacie Wadsworth, DVM, said there was nothing salvageable in the leg to pin or cast and that it would probably atrophy and have to be removed.

I always hoped that technology would someday allow her artificial bones to enable the use of the leg, but that never happened and neither did the atrophy. Instead, she just held the leg in a very strange position and hopped about on the other three legs just fine.

But she’s been failing in health for a while and her most recent lab work shows chronic kidney disease. She’s never going to get better and she is absolutely miserable and refusing to eat. It was time to set her free from her crippled and aging body. She was 19.

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