Rescuers Save Severely Injured Cougar From Abandoned Backyard Zoo

by Catie Keck
Catie Keck is a New York-based staff writer at LittleThings who has produced work for various web and print publications.

We love sharing with you the videos from the nice folks over at Big Cat Rescue — things like big cats and their affinity for boxes — because its a nice reminder of their commitment to the rehabilitation of these animals.

But watching the harrowing story of a rescue cougar they named Mickey reminds us that the path to recovery is often a long one for these big cats.

“We were told that the owner had been feeding the dogs and cats there to her wild animals and that the Doberman had fought back,” said Big Cat Rescue in a statement on their website. The leopard’s leg suffered a horrific injury that remained untreated for two years. “Big Cat Rescue tried, unsuccessfully, for months, to get USDA, the USFWS, the State of Alabama and the local Sheriff to either confiscate the leopard or get her medical attention,” they said.

Ultimately, she died from complications with the wound.

When they found Mickey in the same locale, he weighed approximately half the normal weight of a healthy adult cougar and the muscle on the back of his legs was nearly nonexistent. He had to undergo multiple surgeries and specialists are working with him in physical therapy to get him walking again.

“We will probably have to go back and do surgery on the injected knee once the first one has healed,” Big Cat Rescue said. “Meanwhile Mickey seems to have a strong will to live and we are going to give him every chance possible at a happy life.”

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