- A dying cougar cub was fortunate to have stumbled upon a shelter as it was starving to death.
- Thanks to the shelter’s care, the cub slowly recovered despite experts saying it had only a 10 percent shot of making it.
- The cub has now been transferred to a natural habitat zoo in Texas, where it needs to learn to hunt on its own before it can be released back into the wild.
Animal shelters usually house all kinds of animals. The Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Washington, is no different. The no-kill shelter has a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for its occupants.
Sara Penhallegon has been working at the shelter for years, but all that time did not prepare her for the surprise encounter she had one morning.
There, in one of the outdoor cages, was a young cougar curled up in a pile of hay.
Sara initially thought that the wild animal simply wandered in and “made itself at home,” but she soon realized that it was in poor health and starving to death. At 34 pounds, the cub was around 50 pounds underweight.
Sara shared, “I suspect it was going there to die, considering the condition it was in.”
Fortunately, the shelter was the perfect place to get the cougar back into shape.
Despite experts saying it had only a 10 percent shot of making it, the cub slowly recovered thanks to the shelter’s care. It quickly gained 10 pounds and gradually recovered its wild nature.
Since a cougar cub usually stays with its mother for 18 to 36 months before hunting on its own, the shelter staff believe that its mother might have died since the cougar appears to not have learned how to hunt yet.
Without any hunting know-how, it would be difficult for this cub to survive in the wild on its own. So they had to wait for about two weeks before it was ready to be released to the wild.
Sure enough, the cougar was starting to chew and claw his way out of his enclosure.
“It started getting feisty and it would hiss and growl at me every time I walked over. That was a very good sign,” Sara added.
But before it can be fully released into the wild, it needs to be in a tamer environment first. So the cub was sent to a natural habitat zoo in Texas.
Sara explained, “Obviously, our goal is to return animals to the wild, but the next best option is a really good captive placement with a great facility that can take care of its needs. And that’s what we have for this one.”
It was a good thing that the cougar managed to find its way to a shelter that could nurse it back to health!
Now it has the chance to slowly make its own path back to the wild.
Source: Inspire More