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Cougar kitten recovering at Minnesota's Wildcat Sanctuary

The kitten, named Anastasia by sanctuary staff, had been purchased as a pet but was released into the wild.
Credit: Wildcat Sanctuary
Anastasia the cougar kitten

SANDSTONE, Minn. — After a rough start in life, Anastasia the cougar kitten is recovering at Minnesota's Wildcat Sanctuary.

Located in Sandstone, the nonprofit rescued Anastasia in April when she was about 4 months old. The sanctuary says the cougar had been bought as a pet, but was unsocialized to people and released into the wild.

When Anastasia arrived at the sanctuary, she was starving, emaciated and had been bitten multiple times. At only 22 pounds, the sanctuary says she was considered extremely underweight for her age.

“When we rescued this cougar kitten in April, her injuries were so severe and her medical condition so dire we weren’t sure she would make it,” said Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director of The Wildcat Sanctuary in a press release. “She required extreme medical care from our veterinarian, and our team of caregivers worked tirelessly for weeks to help her heal and nurse her back to health. While Anastasia has recovered, she is quite small in stature and very shy."

Good Samaritans helped get Anastasia to the Wildcat Sanctuary, where she's received intense medical care.

More than 100 exotic cats are cared for at The Wildcat Sanctuary, which recently received a $75,000 grant from the Bob Barker and DJ&T Foundation to provide care for "cats in crisis." A portion of the funds will also be used to build a new Animal Care Center, according to the sanctuary.

The Wildcat Sanctuary also took in some other high-profile big cats last month. After U.S. law enforcement seized more than 70 animals from Tiger King Park in Oklahoma, the park connected to Netflix's infamous "Tiger King" documentary series, several cats came to Minnesota.

The Wildcat Sanctuary said it has also offered to transport and provide a permanent home to any of the smaller wild cats that remain at Tiger King Park if needed. 

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