An owner of an 80-pound cougar surrendered the big cat Monday after being illegally kept as a pet in a New York City apartment.
The cougar was removed from the apartment and then checked by staff at the Bronx Zoo before heading to Turpentine Creek in Arkansas, according to a press release by the Humane Society of the United States.
An 80-pound cougar has been removed from a New York City apartment where she was being kept illegally as a pet, officials say. The cougar, nicknamed Sasha, is now headed to a wildlife refuge in Arkansas. https://t.co/hcov3wqvmt
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 31, 2021
“I’ve never seen a cougar in the wild, but I’ve seen them on leashes, smashed into cages, and crying for their mothers when breeders rip them away,” Kelly Donithan, director of Animal Disaster Response for the Humane Society, said.
The owners of the pet cougar recognized that keeping the big cat in an apartment was not a good idea, Donithan reported in the press release. (RELATED: Cougar Passes Out In A Kitchen Sink After Being Shot With A Tranquilizer Dart)
“While cougars may look cute and cuddly when young, these animals can grow up to be unpredictable and dangerous,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, according to the press release.