Officers from the NYPD teamed up with animal welfare experts to remove An 80-pound cougar from a New York City apartment where she was being kept illegally as a pet, animal welfare officials said Monday.
The owner of the 11-month-old female cougar surrendered the animal on Thursday, Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a news release.
The cougar, nicknamed Sasha, spent the weekend at the Bronx Zoo receiving veterinary care and is now headed to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas, officials told NPR.
The Humane Society coordinated with zoo officials, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York Police Department on the big cat's removal.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said that while cougars "may look cute and cuddly when young, these animals can grow up to be unpredictable and dangerous."
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the cougar's case "is currently under investigation and no further information is available at this time."