From the departments of a) Caturday and b) Dispatches From Florida… I give you a plethora of homeless cougars. No, not formerly-well-to-do predatory ladies who are now on the street, but actual big cats that have become the latest, most carnivorous victims of the recession:
From across the lake, the hunga, hunga roar of a lion rang out. It’s not what you’d typically hear in a Tampa suburb, but at the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary it is normal background noise. His name is Joseph and he was rescued in 2007 from a home in Ohio where he was one of the main attractions in a petting zoo that went under.
Just a few acres away, two Siberian tigers, Nik and Simba, lounge in the shade behind a wire fence. Their toothless yawns and clawless paws show the vicious lengths people go through to turn a wild animal into a harmless pet.
If you want a furry, exotic status symbol, it’s evidently quite easy to have a big cat as a pet in Florida; first, find a big cat, then pay $40 for a license. And this article makes it sound like during the halcyon days of the real estate bubble, there was a chicken in every pot and a baby, de-clawed, de-fanged tiger prowling the backyard of every six-bedroom McMansion. (Really, I wonder how anyone got them past their homeowners’ associations, but that’s neither here nor there.)
And, you know, you lose the house when the economy goes to hell, so you move to your Mom’s garage or an apartment or whatever, and Kitty has to go. Add in the bankrupted family attractions like petting zoos and you’ve got quite the cougar conundrum on your hands.
We at LOLFed give props to Big Cat Rescue, without whom it sounds like there would be a multitude of renegade cougars prowling suburbia. And we kind of wish we had a job title like “Director of Cougar Management,” just because.