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Cougar that was held as illegal pet removed from NYC property

NEW YORK (AP) — An 80-pound cougar was eliminated from a New York Town condominium where by she was being saved illegally as a pet, animal welfare officials said Monday.

The operator of the 11-thirty day period-aged feminine cougar surrendered the animal on Thursday, Kelly Donithan, director of animal catastrophe response for the Humane Modern society of the United States, reported in a news release.

The cougar, nicknamed Sasha, put in 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 Modern society coordinated with zoo officials, the condition Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York Police Department on the massive cat’s removal.

“I’ve by no means found a cougar in the wild, but I have witnessed them on leashes, smashed into cages, and crying for their moms when breeders rip them absent,” the Humane Society’s Donithan mentioned. “I’ve also witnessed the heartbreak of house owners, like in this circumstance, just after being marketed not just a wild animal, but a bogus desire that they could make a great ‘pet.’”

Donithan claimed this cougar was relatively lucky simply because her entrepreneurs, who are living in the Bronx, identified that a wild cat is not in good shape to reside in an apartment and surrendered her.

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

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos reported that whilst cougars “may appear sweet and cuddly when young, these animals can improve up to be unpredictable and perilous.”

Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said the unique pet trade makes no contribution to the conservation of endangered species.

“These animals frequently conclusion up in incredibly negative situations, saved by private people today who really don’t have the sources, facilities, understanding, or experience to deliver for the animals’ most basic wants,” Breheny stated. “In addition to these welfare considerations for the animals, the trying to keep of huge cats by private individuals poses a authentic basic safety hazard to the owner, the owner’s family members and the local community at large.”

New York has witnessed other noteworthy instances involving perilous animals in private residences, like Ming, a 400-pound tiger that was eradicated from a Harlem condominium in 2003.

Ming’s operator, Antoine Yates, was arrested and sentenced to 5 months in prison for reckless endangerment. Ming died in 2019 at the Noah’s Lost Ark Exotic Animal Rescue Center in Ohio.

Law enforcement Commissioner Dermot Shea said the cougar’s scenario “is at the moment below investigation and no additional information is offered at this time.”