We were called to help rescue up to seven cougars living on an Iowa farm. Within minutes of stepping on the property, our staff knew it would take all we had to hold back the tears.
The stench was incredible, the site horrific. A small cage was filled with two feet of fecal matter and other debris.
The remains of one cougar that had passed away was there in a barrel. A few feet away, a pen held the remains of three other cougars. Two additional cougars had been shot earlier after escaping from their small kennels.
And then we saw her, a small cougar who was still alive. She was the sole survivor in a cage no more than four feet high. She had no den and no tarp, nothing to shelter her from the elements.
Hope, as we immediately named her, was extremely malnourished and dehydrated, but still able to move on her own. We were there to take her to a better life at The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Today, Hope is a happy and socialized cougar. She loves life to the fullest and never misses a meal, but can you blame her?
She lives with another cougar, Josie, and they get along just like sisters. One day they irritate each other, the other day they can be found curled together in a heated den.