Male serval

DOB 7/2/2015
Arrived 6/6/2017

Moved to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge on December 29, 2023

Zucari is a serval who was born in 2015 and came to Big Cat Rescue in 2017.  Zucari’s former owner has refused to reveal who she bought him or Chaos the caracal from.  Since it was illegal to have the cats in Ohio, it would implicate the seller if she did.  Zucari was housed with a number of domestic and hybrid cats for the purpose of breeding hybrids for the pet trade.  Some reports said he was housed with 15 other cats.  The owner insisted it was only four breeding females.

While some states prohibit the possession of servals they do not prohibit the possession of serval hybrids. So owners of servals claim their servals are hybrids to escape prosecution.  In this case, the Ohio Department of Agriculture figured that if someone was breeding hybrids, they probably had wild cats, and they were able to surprise the owner and seize the cats.  Faced with charges, the owner agreed to sign the cats over.

According to the former owner, Zucari lived in half of her garage.  The owner described herself as loving the cats and felt she gave them plenty of room.  This is typical of private owners who have no idea the amount of space or care that these cats require.  Zucari arrived with a virus that can be life-threatening if it mutates.  The virus is common in these catteries, due to the overcrowded conditions and lack of fresh air and sunshine.  The owner said she knew about it but had not come up with a way to deal with it, other than just give away the infected cats. Hopefully, the virus will not mutate and Zucari will enjoy many years here.

Cyrus and Chaos the Caracals, along with Zucari the Serval have arrived. Come along as they are released into their forever homes. Wear their gear to show your love and support for them https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/search?q=cyrus 100% of the profits goes to caring for the cats!

Can We Count on Your Help For Their Transport Costs, Surgeries and Lifetime Care?

The cats were owned by a hybrid breeder in Ohio who willingly surrendered 2 caracals and 1 serval to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) when the agency discovered she owned the cats in violation of Ohio law.

The two Caracals were housed in a cage in the basement and had access to a small enclosure outside via a door, they were house together and are both intact.

The serval was housed in an outdoor dog kennel type cage with approximately two dozen hybrids and domestic cats.

All three cats were sedated on Monday morning for a basic exam to have blood drawn to be microchipped and to get vaccinated.

They all traveled very well and were quiet except for when we had to stop to feed them or give them water and they would all hiss.

Meet 6-year-old Cyrus (male) and Chaos (female) – oh boy, wonder if her name reflects her feisty purrsonality? Our keepers can’t wait to find out!

When ODA approached Carole about taking the cats and mentioned that two of them were caracals, she caught her breath and her thoughts immediately turned to our beautiful Sassy caracal, who recently passed in March 2017, and her lifelong companion Rusty caracal, who passed last September. It almost seems like Sassy and Rusty are up in heaven orchestrating our rescue of this new pair of caracals and helping them find their way to Big Cat Rescue so that these beautiful caracals can live out their lives in peace here too.

And the young serval is 2-year-old Zucari. He’s practically still a kitten and will be the youngest serval at the sanctuary.

All 3 cats will need to be spayed/neutered once they arrive. And we won’t know until our vets examine them if they have any other health issues that will need to be addressed.

If you want to be an integral, important part of rescuing Cyrus, Chaos, and Zucari, we would be very grateful to receive your donations toward the cost of their transport, surgeries and lifetime care at our sanctuary. It is your donations that allow us to continue to be able to immediately say YES when we are asked to save exotic cats in need! THANK YOU!

FunCation Time

Zucari, the young African Serval Cat goes on FunCation!

October 29, 2018

Happy #NationalCatDay from Zucari and his pumpkin 🎃

Zucari serval pumpkin

UPDATE – December 28, 2018

Zucari the serval would do anything for a snack! Watch as he runs for a tasty treat.

This clip shows more of how big the cages for the small cats really are. Often people think our cages are small because in photos or videos they cannot see the whole space. This video clip shows Zucari running through part of his suite of cages.

December 19, 2019

Zucari the male serval got a piece of vegetation lodged between his teeth causing him discomfort. Here we call that stick mouth. Watch as we bring him into the cat hospital to see our veterinarian.

July 10, 2020

Zucari serval waiting for breakfast on Funcation

January 31, 2021

Zucari is cute as a button and he makes sure we know it! Zucari is often seen rolling around in the grass, on his coolaroo bed, in his den or on his platform. He draws in your attention only to greet you with a big HISSSSSSSSS!

Zucari serval

April 20, 2021

Not all of our big cats are approved for paper enrichment becuase they try and eat it. So we sometimes have to get creative with their enrichment items. Watch as Zucari and Hutch the servals are given a pineapple top.

November 21, 2021

Zucari says “send more hay!”

~photo by Keeper Tammy Ford

Zucari serval hay

January 19, 2022

Enriching the cats can be fun for both animals and humans. Enrichment is extremely important for the lives of captive animals. But have you ever wondered what it was like to remove some of these items? Watch as they try and remove Zucari the African servals rotting pumpkin.

March 1, 2022

Zucari Serval is moving to Outback

March 26, 2022

Zucari is enjoying the cool weather this morning~photo by Keeper Kristen Dawley

Oct 5, 2022 Update

Zucari Serval was noted as chewing only on one side so he was seen by Dr. Justin Boorstein today.  X-rays showed no issues with his teeth, but as long as he was sedated we decided to neuter him.  He will be recovering in the Cool Cat Cave on the live cam.


You can sponsor one of the big or little cats at Big Cat Rescue to help cover the cost of their food and care. Kits come with a beautiful 8×10 color photo, species information newsletter, and other sponsorship benefits. Click a species on the sponsorship site to choose your level of sponsorship starting at $25 Buddy Kit through $5,000 King of Beasts Kit and to see the benefits you get with each sponsorship level.


Want to shop for items of your favorite big cat at Big Cat Rescue? Check out our 2 online stores for all the merchandise of the cats!

BigCatRescue.biz and our Spring Store

Wear your favorite cat and share the plight of big cats and how we need to save them! What better way to start a conversation than with a shirt, bag or other merchandise featuring the cats of Big Cat Rescue!


Speak up for those who have no voice!

If you live in the USA, you can make the Call of the Wild to help us pass a federal bill to stop cub petting and phase out private possession of big cats as the first step to saving big cats in the wild. BigCatAct.com

No matter where in the world you live you can help save big cats by calling out those who you see on social media petting cubs and keeping big cats in cages and on leashes. Tell them how abusive and dangerous it is to keep big cats in captivity when they belong in the wild!

Speak up! If we don’t speak out for these majestic big cats we will lose the tiger in the wild in 5 years or less! THE TIME IS NOW!


Watch our LIVE web cams including our Explore cams, Verkada cams and nest cams 24/7 at BigCatCams.com


Big Cat Rescue has earned the highest rating on Charity Navigator as a non profit sanctuary. You can be assured that 100% your donations are going to help care for the cats at Big Cat Rescue when you give to support them.

Find out more:

Check Out on Charity Navigator’s Report

Here is the link to Charity Navigator’s report directly on their website.  https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8804#.Vg68SBNVhBd

About Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency of more than 8,000 charities.

Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a 501 (c) (3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations, and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers.

Charity Navigator can be reached directly by telephone at (201) 818-1288, or by mail at 139 Harristown Road, Suite 101, Glen Rock, N.J., 07452.


Did you know every time you make a purchase on Amazon you could be donating to Big Cat Rescue at no cost to you??

You can automatically help feed our cats at NO COST TO YOU when you select Big Cat Rescue as your charity on Amazon Smile and shop Amazon Smile instead of Amazon.com.

Learn more about how you can help the cats of Big Cat Rescue for free at https://bigcatrescue.org/amazon-smile/

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