Story at a glance

  • An 11-month-old female cougar was rescued from a New York City apartment on Aug. 26.
  • Its owner contacted authorities to surrender the animal after coming to the realization that it wasn’t fit to live in an apartment.
  • The cougar has since been transported to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.

An 11-month-old female cougar was rescued from a New York City apartment on Aug. 26.

In a partnership between the Humane Society of the United States, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York City Police Department and the Bronx Zoo, the owner of the 80-lb. juvenile cougar surrendered her after contacting authorities.

This cougar is relatively lucky that her owners recognized a wild cat is not fit to live in an apartment or any domestic environment,” Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a press release. “The owner’s tears and nervous chirps from the cougar as we drove her away painfully drives home the many victims of this horrendous trade and myth that wild animals belong anywhere but the wild.”


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The cougar was initially transported to the Bronx Zoo to receive veterinary care. On Aug. 30, she was transferred to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, where she will remain.

“Wildlife like cougars are not pets,” NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “While cougars may look cute and cuddly when young, these animals can grow up to be unpredictable and dangerous. NYSDEC is thankful to our partners at the New York Police Department, the Humane Society of the United States, Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society, and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge for their efforts to advance the surrender of this wild animal and transport it to a safe location.”


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Published on Aug 31, 2021