Was The Dead Cougar In The Twin Cities A Pet?
As sad as it is to see, it is not uncommon to come across a dead animal or two, while driving along the highway. In North Dakota, it is pretty common to see pheasants, skunks, deer, and maybe even a cougar from time-to-time. But it would not be as common to come across something like a dead cougar in highly populated cities - like the Twin Cities. So, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is wondering how a dead cougar ended up on the road in a Twin Cities' suburb.
According to Valley News Live, a 115-pound male cougar was found deceased on the interstate near Bloomington, Minnesota. The report says that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources learned about the cougar after he was hit by a car. In the story, we are told that cougars do make their way to Minnesota, but it is more common for them to be found in Western North Dakota. So, of course, the Minnesota DNR is investigating if the cougar was wild, or if he was kept as a pet. Get the full story from Valley News Live here.
It is sad enough that the poor thing died that way. I am sure he was terrified if he was running around in a major city before his death. But I hope that he was a wild cougar that just lost his way, rather than a captive one who was lost/ abandoned by his owner.
It was not until I watched Tiger King that I even knew that there is a black market for live big cats. According to a 2019 story from The Guardian, captive tigers can be found at "ranches, unlicensed zoos, apartments, truck stops, and private breeding facilities" in the United States. Of course, the article is about tigers, but the information about the big cat black market is still relevant and interesting. Get the full story on captive tigers here.
What are your thoughts on people keeping big cats as pets?