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Morgan Machnik of Premier Exotics cited for abusing servals; releasing bobcat

A deceased serval is shown at left. Morgan Machnik of Premier Exotics is shown at right.


  • Morgan Machnik of Premier Exotics has been cited with three federal violations and four state violations.

  • Machnik roughly handled an African serval named Zuri and failed to provide follow-up veterinary care resulting in the serval’s death.

  • Machnik released a captive bobcat into the woods because it was “too aggressive.”

  • A serval owned by Machnik was recorded being thrown across a room while individuals laugh.

  • An incident was captured on video where Machnik appears to slap a serval and slam it down hard on a bed.


Morgan Machnik of Premier Exotics received three federal violations last month for abusing African servals and releasing a captive bobcat.

Machnik is an exotic animal dealer who operates Premier Exotics out of her mother’s residential home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She frequently moves her business to various unapproved locations without updating the address with state and federal authorities.

Read more about Morgan Machnik:

Last October, Roadside Zoo News alerted authorities to videos of Machnik choking and hitting African servals and a photograph of a serval that died after sustaining an injury when Machnik handled the animal roughly.

In November, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fined Machnik $540 for releasing a captive bobcat in Green Lake County in 2021. Documents indicate Machnik released the bobcat in the woods because he was aggressive and could not be given proper care.

In December, DNR cited Machnik for three captive wildlife violations for failing to control and confine a captive bobcat. She faces more than $1,000 in fines on those charges.

Machnik previously paid about $500 in fines in 2021 for two counts of failing to keep records for captive wild animals.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed an inspection of Premier Exotics on Jan. 4, 2023, and cited Machnik with three critical violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

On June 7, 2022, a serval named Zuri sustained a broken leg after being roughly handled by Machnik, according to the report. Zuri was initially taken to the veterinarian but subsequent follow up appointments were not kept. The lack of proper veterinary care resulted in Zuri’s death.

According to the inspection report, an incident was captured on video showing a serval being thrown across a room while individuals are heard laughing in the background. Machnik indicated at the time of the incident the serval was being cared for by friends while she was out of town.

USDA Inspector Dawn Barksdale noted it is Machnik’s responsibility to ensure the animals don’t experience harm or injury while under her care.

An incident was captured on video where Machnik appears to slap a serval and slam it down hard on a bed.

According to Machnik, she was in the process of working with the animal and became frustrated at which time the serval was “placed” on the bed with a soft cushion.

“At no time should any type of physical abuse be used while interacting with the animals to either train, work with or handle the animals under their care,” Barksdale wrote in the report.

The three federal violations are a written warning but the USDA may take further action by issuing an official notice of warning or a stipulation offer. Machnik was ordered to correct the violations immediately.

According to the USDA animal inventory, no exotic animals were observed at the Milwaukee location of Premier Exotics during the inspection.

Machnik’s social media accounts indicate she’s relocated to Florida with some of the animals.

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