RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC (WRAL/CNN) — A pig and an exotic cat teamed up for the perfect escape from a North Carolina zoo.
Candid Cobb was driver her daughter from softball practice outside of the Edgecomb County town of Pinetops when she saw a line of parked cars looking at something on the side of the highway.
“As we passed by, we saw that it was like a leopard or whatever it is that was on the side of the road. At the moment, it was like very weird, like why is this animal here?” she recalled.
Cobb didn’t recognize the animal because it was a serval, a species of cat native to Africa and about 7,000 miles away from its natural habitat. A few miles up the road, Bobbie Joe Abrams got a knock on the door from a friend, “He come and he was like this has got to be your cat down here.”
Abrams runs “It’s a Zoo Life,” an exotic animal park where, until that morning, King Sparta had been safe in his enclosure. She rushed to the highway where the animal had made its way near a woman’s house.
“So, I asked her, I said, ‘I hate to ask you this, you have any raw meat like raw chicken?’ She was like, ‘I do have some raw chicken,’” Abrams said. “She goes in, gets a piece of raw chicken comes out and I go, ‘Sparty! King Spartacus! Sparta!’ He comes right out; he smells the meat. I put it in the kennel, and he walked right in and we brought him home.”
When Abrams went to put the serval back in his pen, she realized he had an accomplice in his escape: A potbellied pig named Oliver who had broken the gate opened from the outside.
“So, he rooted and rooted. That rooter is a solid muscle. He kept on and he pushed the door open. And so, the pig was inside and the cat was gone,” said Abrams.
According to Abrams, the cat was domesticated and never posed a threat. Now, she’s just happy to have him back where he belongs. The zoo said they’re keeping a watchful eye on both the cat and pig from now on and have separated the pair’s enclosures to stop any future escapes.
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