Cougar kept as illegal pet removed from home

1 month ago 14
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News 12 Staff

Aug 31, 2021, 2:31am

Updated on: Aug 31, 2021, 2:31am

An 80-pound cougar was removed from a New York City flat wherever she was being kept illegally arsenic a pet, carnal payment officials said Monday.

The proprietor of the 11-month-old pistillate cougar surrendered the carnal connected Thursday, Kelly Donithan, manager of carnal catastrophe effect for the Humane Society of the United States, said successful a quality release.

The cougar, nicknamed Sasha, spent the play astatine the Bronx Zoo receiving veterinary attraction and is present headed to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge successful Arkansas, officials said.

The Humane Society coordinated with zoo officials, the authorities Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York Police Department connected the large cat's removal.

“I’ve ne'er seen a cougar successful the wild, but I’ve seen them connected leashes, smashed into cages, and crying for their mothers erstwhile breeders rip them away," the Humane Society’s Donithan said. “I’ve besides seen the heartbreak of owners, similar successful this case, aft being sold not conscionable a chaotic animal, but a mendacious imagination that they could marque a bully ‘pet.’”

Donithan said this cougar was comparatively fortunate due to the fact that her owners, who unrecorded successful the Bronx, recognized that a chaotic feline is not acceptable to unrecorded successful an flat and surrendered her.

“The owner’s tears and tense chirps from the cougar arsenic we drove her distant painfully drives location the galore victims of this horrendous commercialized and story that chaotic animals beryllium anyplace but the wild," Donithan said.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said that portion cougars "may look cute and cuddly erstwhile young, these animals tin turn up to beryllium unpredictable and dangerous."

Bronx Zoo manager Jim Breheny said the exotic favored commercialized makes nary publication to the conservation of endangered species.

“These animals often extremity up successful precise atrocious situations, kept by backstage individuals who don’t person the resources, facilities, knowledge, oregon expertise to supply for the animals’ astir basal needs,” Breheny said. "In summation to these payment concerns for the animals, the keeping of large cats by backstage radical poses a existent information hazard to the owner, the owner’s household and the assemblage astatine large.”

New York has seen different notable cases involving unsafe animals successful backstage residences, including Ming, a 400-pound tiger that was removed from a Harlem flat successful 2003.

Ming’s owner, Antoine Yates, was arrested and sentenced to 5 months successful situation for reckless endangerment. Ming died successful 2019 astatine the Noah’s Lost Ark Exotic Animal Rescue Center successful Ohio.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the cougar's lawsuit “is presently nether probe and nary further accusation is disposable astatine this time.”

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.)

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