EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An 80-pound cougar rescued from a New York apartment has arrived in Arkansas, where she will receive lifelong care at a Eureka Springs wildlife refuge.
Sasha, who was illegally kept as a pet in a Bronx apartment, is now at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge’s Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital, where she will stay until her full wellness exam.
The 11-month-old female cougar was surrendered by its owner on Thursday, August 26.
“This cougar is relatively lucky that her owners recognized a wild cat is not fit to live in an apartment or any domestic environment,” said Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States. “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.”
Sasha spent that weekend at the Bronx Zoo receiving veterinary care before being transported to Arkansas.
Turpentine Creek says Sasha will stay at the veterinary hospital until at least Monday because she’s not used to the great outdoors.
Afterwards, she’ll have her very own grass habitat.
The refuge will also be removing her collar.