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NEW YORK – An 80-pound cougar was removed from an apartment in the Bronx on Thursday, according to officials from the Humane Society of the United States.

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The 11-month old female cougar was surrendered by the owner to animal welfare officials, according to the Humane Society of the United States news release. The effort to safely remove the animal involved the coordination of several agencies.

The cougar, nicknamed Sasha according to The Associated Press, received treatment at the Bronx Zoo before heading to a wildlife refuge in Arkansas.

“The owner’s tears and nervous chirps from the cougar as we drove her away painfully drives home the many victims of this horrendous trade and myth that wild animals belong anywhere but the wild,” Kelly Donithan, the director of animal disaster response for the Humane Society of the United States, said per the news release.

“Wildlife like cougars are not pets. While cougars may look cute and cuddly when young, these animals can grow up to be unpredictable and dangerous,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

“In addition to these welfare concerns for the animals, the keeping of big cats by private people poses a real safety hazard to the owner, the owner’s family and the community at large,” Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the case involving the cougar in the Bronx “is currently under investigation and no further information is available at this time,” according to the AP report.