Cougar retained as unlawful pet eradicated from NYC household

NEW YORK (AP) — An 80-pound cougar was taken out from a New York City apartment in which she was staying saved illegally as a pet, animal welfare officers explained Monday.

The proprietor of the 11-month-outdated female cougar surrendered the animal on Thursday, Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster reaction for the Humane Modern society of the United States, explained in a information release.

The cougar, nicknamed Sasha, used the weekend at the Bronx Zoo receiving veterinary care and is now headed to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, officers said.

The Humane Culture coordinated with zoo officers, the state Section of Environmental Conservation and the New York Police Division on the large cat’s removing.

“I’ve hardly ever observed a cougar in the wild, but I’ve found them on leashes, smashed into cages, and crying for their mothers when breeders rip them away,” the Humane Society’s Donithan explained. “I’ve also viewed the heartbreak of proprietors, like in this circumstance, soon after getting sold not just a wild animal, but a false dream that they could make a great ‘pet.’”

Donithan stated this cougar was relatively lucky since her homeowners, who live in the Bronx, regarded that a wild cat is not in good shape to live in an apartment and surrendered her.

“The owner’s tears and anxious chirps from the cougar as we drove her away painfully drives dwelling the lots of victims of this horrendous trade and fantasy that wild animals belong anyplace but the wild,” Donithan explained.

Division of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos explained that although cougars “may search cute and cuddly when youthful, these animals can increase up to be unpredictable and unsafe.”

Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny explained the exotic pet trade can make no contribution to the conservation of endangered species.

“These animals normally conclusion up in quite lousy conditions, kept by non-public men and women who really do not have the resources, services, know-how, or know-how to offer for the animals’ most fundamental needs,” Breheny said. “In addition to these welfare concerns for the animals, the trying to keep of massive cats by personal folks poses a actual security hazard to the owner, the owner’s spouse and children and the community at big.”

New York has witnessed other noteworthy conditions involving dangerous animals in private residences, including Ming, a 400-pound tiger that was eliminated from a Harlem apartment in 2003.

Ming’s owner, Antoine Yates, was arrested and sentenced to 5 months in prison for reckless endangerment. Ming died in 2019 at the Noah’s Missing Ark Unique Animal Rescue Heart in Ohio.