Clark the Cougar
Wildlife Images Educational Ambassador, Friend and Forever in Our Hearts.
The circle of life is very real for those of us at Wildlife Images. It is with great sadness on this last day of 2015, that we bid goodbye to our beloved cougar ambassador, Clark. Multiple health issues relating to his advanced age reduced his ability to lead a quality life. With heavy hearts our veterinary and animal care staff made the difficult decision to end his suffering.
Clark was born in captivity and in 2000 was purchased by a family as a pet from a breeder. The family became increasingly intimidated by Clark (a common story among people who purchase wildlife as pets) and therefore was turned over to a wildlife conservation facility in Colorado as an adolescent. In June of 2003, Clark arrived at his permanent home at Wildlife Images. Because Clark was born in captivity, he never learned how to hunt for food and wasn’t able to survive if released back into the wild. Additionally, the family that first purchased him made the decision to have a veterinarian perform a tendonectomy on Clark, (when the tendons to the distal phalanges which control retracting and unleashing claws are severed) leaving the claws in the paws, and Clark forever crippled in his ability to extend his claws or his use paws in a normal way.
After Clark arrived at the center, it didn’t take long for him to become one of our favorite animal ambassadors. His story, his personality, and his impressive regal ability to connect with the public made a lasting impression to so many of our guests. We would like to thank each of you who shared in our love of this magnificent animal. Your ongoing support provided Clark a wonderful caring home at our center while enabling children and adults from around the world the opportunity to experience his majesty on a very personal level. May we end this year, knowing that Clark did his job of teaching us how to be better stewards of the natural world. He was a true ambassador, and for many of us he will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace sweet boy, you made the world a better place.