Somehow, despite last year giving us an entire documentary series that clearly shows owning exotic animals never ends well, people are still out there trying to keep big cats as pets. And, even worse, some are even trying to pull this off while living in a New York City apartment.
NPR reports that an 80-pound, 11-month-old cougar named Sasha was “removed from a New York City apartment where she was being kept illegally as a pet” last Thursday after her owners realized that having an increasingly large, increasingly ferocious wild animal in their Bronx home probably isn’t a great idea.
A Humane Society Of The United States director described taking the cougar away and “the heartbreak of owners, like in this case, [surrendering a big cat] after being sold not just a wild animal, but a false dream that they could make a good ‘pet.’” (We must also assign some blame here to that peddler of cat-related fantasies, Bill Watterson.)
The Humane Society worked with the NYPD, New York’s Department Of Environmental Conservation, and the Bronx Zoo to remove the cougar from the apartment and bring her to the zoo’s veterinarians. After spending the weekend there, Sasha’s on to her next stop: Arkansas’ Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.
Speaking to press, the authorities involved with the case provided some common wisdom about how wild kittens eventually grow into adults—basically the kind of stuff that you’d hope most people would just know already but that, as we saw a few months ago with that loose tiger in Texas, apparently bears repeating.
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