Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. - Jul 04, 2017 - Two cougars (also known as mountain lions or pumas) that have lived in abusive and deplorable situations in Argentina are finally being rescued and brought to the United States within the next few weeks. The animals are coming from a defunct zoo that was shut down in 2015 due to the terrible conditions their animals were kept in.
When Argentina began a trend of banning public exhibition of animals in zoos, people thought that would solve the problem, but the animals still needed somewhere safe to go. This presents a challenge as one zoo after another searches for reputable places for wild and exotic animals to live their lives in more natural environments.
THE HISTORY: The EX Rawson Zoo, in the Chubut Province of Argentina, was the first zoo to be closed. This was done through a judicial settlement in 2015 resulting from an environmental relief appeal sponsored by Lujan Perez Terrone (with The Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers of Patagonia) and a group of neighbors in the area. 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. The facility will be converted into an amusement park. (see https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&am… for more information)
Lujan Perez Terrone has been monitoring the transfer of all animals from the ex zoo and has assisted in successfully making arrangements for all of the other animals to be transferred to better places but they still needed a forever home for two cougars. With nowhere else to turn, they sought an international solution.
THE TEAM: This international rescue mission has been an ongoing team effort since 2015. There are several pieces to the puzzle, but it is finally coming together.
· Forest Animal Rescue has agreed to provide proper veterinary care and lifetime sanctuary for the big cats at their 80-acre facility in the Ocala National Forest – Silver Springs, Florida.
· The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado is handling the logistics of the transfer of the big cats to the United States from Argentina using their international connections.
· Lujan Perez Terrone and other members of theteam in Argentina are working to ensure that the animals are restored to better health and coordinating for their safe transfer.
THE PLAN: The team in Argentina is currently building airline-approved transport crates to carry the cougars and overseeing their safety during the transition. They will travel with them 700 miles from Rawson to Buenos Aires and then the majestic creatures will be airlifted another 4,500 miles to safety in the United States, arriving in Miami, Florida. Once reaching Miami, Forest Animal Rescue will pick the animals up and transport them 300 miles north, to their forever home at the sanctuary.
FROM FOREST ANIMAL RESCUE: These cougars were born at the Rawson Zoo in 2002 and have always lived together; they are inseparable. They will continue to share a habitat for the rest of their lives in a peaceful, sanctuary setting.
Since Forest Animal Rescue is an accredited non-breeding sanctuary, the new cougars will be surgically sterilized as appropriate during their veterinary exams as they go through quarantine at the sanctuary.
Although the zoo had them at their facility for 15 years, they have never had names! (Watch our news for an upcoming naming contest)
SUMMARY: Amidst the heartache of knowing that there are animals still suffering such horrible treatment in captivity, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. People are beginning to force change.
We felt an obligation to step up and provide sanctuary for these cougars in order to save their lives.
Right now, we’re busy making arrangements and preparations to bring them to the Sanctuary. Please stay tuned, though, as we’ll be posting more information very soon.
Obviously, this is an increased expense, having two more animals to feed and provide with veterinary care.
Will you step up for them, too?
You can help us rescue these two cougars by donating at https://www.givinggrid.com/FARcougars/
Gifts may also be mailed to:
Forest Animal Rescue, 640, NE 170th Ct., Silver Springs, FL 34488
Forest Animal Sanctuary (FAR) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill wild animal sanctuary in Silver Springs, FL. FAR is dedicated to lifelong care for abused, neglected or abandoned in captivity wild animals that cannot be released – and the rehabilitation and release of wild black bears.
We do not buy, sell or exploit the animals in our care. FAR relies entirely on private donations and does not receive government grants. FAR is fully licensed by state and Federal authorities, accredited by the American Sanctuary Association (http://www.asaanimalsanctuaries.org/) and recognized as one the “Best tiger sanctuaries in the U.S.” by Tigers in America (http://www.tigersinamerica.org/sanctuary.htm). Combining spacious, natural habitats with a peaceful sanctuary setting allows the animals to heal both emotionally and physically from the mistreatment they have endured at the hands of humans in their former lives. Since the sanctuary is dedicated to the comfort of the animals and is not a zoo for people, only up to twelve visitors are allowed each month; six people at a time during guided tours, twice monthly.
Any donations in excess of a year’s care will go toward the expense of providing for all residents of the sanctuary.
Visit our website at http://ForestAnimalRescue.org for more information or to schedule a tour.
Contact: Lisa Stoner, lisa@ForestAnimalRescue.org, (352) 625-7377
Forest Animal Rescue