Serval Nino and his owner live in hiding

Serval Nino and his owner live in hiding
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In June Seems like a mystery African cats in Oz outside Bergen.

The cat became famous overnight in Norway. All the media of the country are covering this case.

What is this leopard-like animal? What is it doing on a country road in Oz?

The animal was eventually identified as a servant named Nino. The owner admitted to importing him illegally. Both the police cat and the owner must.

But four months later, Nino is still on the loose.

VG can now tell the full dramatic story of Nino’s escape from Oz – and a generous donor paid NOK 70,000 for an operation that saved the cat’s life.


This is in 2021 A woman in her 20s sends a message on Instagram.

She has always loved cats. But the message she’s sending now is a start over getting a regular house cat.

Via social media, he orders a server, shipped from Russia and delivered to his home in Oz.

The woman has already applied four or five times for a permit to have an employee, but has always been flatly refused by the Norwegian authorities.

Now she imports animals illegally instead. It costs NOK 70,000.

– You know it’s illegal to have servants in Norway. But why did you do it?

– He is the dream of my life, says the woman who wishes to remain anonymous.

– It’s a predator, it is. Isn’t he dangerous?

– No, no. He was never threatening in any way.

As soon as she gives birth to Nino, she immediately falls in love with the little kitten:


First two years During Nino’s life, he grows to 16 kg.

The owner keeps him indoors during the day. She dares to take him out for a walk only after dark.

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Then, in June 2023, things go wrong. When she has a friend visit, the friend forgets to close the door.

Nino leaves.

– And then the world crumbled for me. The woman says she thought she would be caught now.

But in the morning he found his home again. Relief washes over the woman as the servant stands outside the door at the house.

But while examining the Os, he observed:


The next day Nino is on the front page of all the online newspapers in the country that he is being filmed.

At the same time, the police want to catch his owner. He would later be charged with illegally importing a serval and keeping it as a pet.

There is speculation in the newspapers as to whether he will be euthanized.

Screenshot from VG.no on June 23

Now it goes fast.

In two days, the owner packs what he needs.

Along with Nino, she flees.

She quits her job. Withdrawing from friends and family. Lives at a secret address.

He does not dare to use a mobile phone for fear of being electronically tracked by the police.

– The girl tells Viji that it’s like living in prison.

But it’s worth it, she says. She is very happy with Nino – and she is very afraid that he will have to be euthanized.

– He is my best friend.

In an email to VG in September, Janne Bonhorst, head of division at the Norwegian Environment Agency, wrote that “wild animals do not thrive and should not be kept as pets.”

That argument did not agree with Nino’s owner.

– It’s not like a poacher shot him with an anesthetic, took him out of the African jungle and took him to Norway. Nino is raised and raised as a farm animal. He is not a wild animal and will not cope in the wild.

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After several months In hiding, Nino stops eating. A 20-year-old woman is convinced that something is wrong. She needs to get him to the vet, fast.

Through a network of cat lovers, the woman is getting help.

On Saturday last week, she and a man she calls “the helper” drive to the Friedrichstadt animal hospital.

When they arrive, Nino’s cage is covered with a red carpet.

They won’t say how long they drove, other than “a little while.” If they tell you how many hours they’ve been on the road, it can be used to find out how far from Friedrichstadt Niño and where the owner lives.

The car they’re driving doesn’t belong to either of them – and needs to be replaced along the way. Everything to avoid being found by the police.

The cat will only come out of the enclosed cage when they are safely inside a room at the clinic. There, Nino meets veterinarian Martin Ulfeng.

When the owner distracts him, he injects him with an anesthetic.

– He was illegally imported. Is it unethical for you as a vet to help him?

– No. Although she shouldn’t have imported him, I think he shouldn’t have died. Ulfeng says he can’t do anything because he was imported here, and then it was wrong to euthanize him.


Also His colleagues, Ulfeng, roll the cat in for X-rays and ultrasounds.

The images show that something is stuck in Nino’s small intestine.

The vet says he will die in a few days if not operated on.

Many pet owners have their pets insured. You can’t do that when there’s an animal that’s illegal.

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And a surgery is expensive. NOK 70,000, Ulfeng estimated – the cost of importing the animal.

The owner cannot afford it. She hasn’t worked since she eloped with Nino.

But a generous feline friend offered to foot the bill. The person involved will not be identified.


The operation takes an hour.

A small piece of tennis ball for Nino to chew.

After being monitored overnight, he is allowed to leave the animal hospital.

The owner and assistant drove him back to the hideout, again in a car neither of them registered.

– What do you think about him being euthanized?

Before she can say anything, the owner starts crying.

– I can’t answer that.

– But what is the best case here?

– There is a reserve with one free space in South Africa. Hope he can be transferred there.

– And if the authorities say no?

– And then we live like now until he dies. He can live up to 30 years.

– You lived in hiding for four months. Ready to do it for another 30 years?

– If I have to, I will.


Both Niños The owner and the assistant hope that Serval Case can contribute to strengthening animal rights in Norway.

– Why should a cat be euthanized because of human choice? Ask the attendant.

He says that it was stupid of the owner to import Nino illegally, but it is wrong to euthanize him for it.

– Nino is an innocent party in this case, and genuine alternatives to new housing must be found for him. Helper says we need to start discussing good and fair arrangements for animals in Norway.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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