Two cougars are the last to find homes at a closed zoo – they need our help!
At the Rawson Zoo in the Lower Chubut River Valley in Argentina, two tiny cougars were born. It was 2002 – the zoo was known for its collection of more than 60 exotic species of animals, but not for their proper care.
The cougars (also known as pumas or mountain lions) grew up and lived their lives in a tiny concrete and dirt enclosure with some grasses, a little shade and a pool that they never used; cougars seldom like to play in water.
As they grew to adulthood, they languished in this tiny cage, with food insufficient for them to gain weight and a constant stream of onlookers for the zoo to make money – but nobody was meeting their needs. Their wild nature was being completely suffocated. All they had was one another. They were just property and nobody cared enough about them to even refer to them with names.
11 years passed, the nameless big cats remained, never knowing life without constant exploitation or having a natural habitat to play in.
Finally, a kind-hearted group of animal welfare advocates cared enough to make a difference in their lives.
In 2013 Lujan Perez Terrone (with The Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers of Patagonia) and a group of neighbors in the area filed an environmental relief appeal. The group brought serious animal abuse charges against the zoo due to animal deaths under their care and the poor conditions in which the animals were forced to live.
Three more years passed, and the fight continued…. an agreement was finally made that the facility will be converted into an amusement park and the animals would all be moved to better places!
Lujan and her team would monitor the transfer of all animals from the ex zoo. They made arrangements for almost all of the animals to be transferred to better places in their own country; but they couldn’t find a forever home for the two nameless cougars. With nowhere else to turn, they sought an international solution.
October 2015 – the call came in to Forest Animal Rescue. Two skinny cougars needed homes – and now they had a light at the end of the tunnel! They would be flown to the United States to live their lives at a true sanctuary, never to be exploited again.
At Forest Animal Rescue, they would have a large, natural habitat to play in with trees, toys and people tending to their needs who truly cared about them as individuals! The two cats have never been apart, so the sanctuary will keep them together for the rest of their lives. They will have the best diet and veterinary care they could wish for….but flying big cats from another country, importing them into the United States is no easy task. Everyone hoped it could really happen.
July 2017: two more years have passed, but the international team has succeeded in getting the proper permits! Under the close watch of the animal welfare groups, the cats have gained some weight for the trip. The final arrangements for the transfer of the cougars are being made – they should be arriving in Florida within the next two weeks!
Obviously, this has been an extremely expensive process for everyone involved. At Forest Animal Rescue, we felt an obligation to step up and provide sanctuary for these majestic animals in order to save their lives.
We have agreed to provide lifetime care for these cougars that have endured so much, but providing a spacious habitat, diet and ongoing veterinary care is going to be expensive.
We are trying to raise $10,000 in the next few weeks to be sure they have what they need at the sanctuary.
Will you step up for them, too?
You can help us rescue these two cougars by donating to our special fundraiser
Gifts may also be mailed to:
Forest Animal Rescue, 640, NE 170th Ct., Silver Springs, FL 34488
More updates on the cougars: