By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,661)
MaryAnn, a cat, is looking for a good home. She’s a three-year old cat, but not just an ordinary three year old family pet! She has a much larger family – a community that has been tracking her whereabouts for months.
In fact, MaryAnn who resides at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, is a Mountain Lion. Yes, a full-grown Mountain Lion. And the Wildlife Park is looking for a very large home for her – urgently.
MaryAnn, named for a now deceased volunteer at the Gray Park, was born in captivity. She has lived at the Park for much of her young life. She’s a volunteer favorite, earning her a nickname and some special treats from her keepers. Born in captivity, she is more of a people cat than others born in the wild according to one volunteer who does not want to see her displaced from the Park. That may account for her purrrrring at some of the volunteers.
But earlier this year, the Park Superintendent learned of two young mountain lions that had been abandoned in Minnesota. They were slated to be euthanized. Since they are native to Maine as well, the popular Curtis Johnson, Super, who has a business background, stepped up and offered to relocate them to Gray to save them. It was an unpopular call with many of the volunteers because of their affection for MaryAnn. However, the opportunity to shelter two healthy cats over one, with minor health issues as well, was a no brainer for Johnson. In fact, her minor health issues seemed to be a further justification for Johnson’s desire to move her out of the Park. This became clear to mhn.com back in April 2016 during a conversation at the Park. That was just after the Park opened for the 2016 season. The Park is equipped to shelter such animals, partly because it is a large space in a rural area. This is a distinct advantage over other parks. No breeding is done at this Park. It’s just about sheltering rescued animals who could not survive on their own in the wild.
But, space IS limited at the Park because it’s expensive to build for their individual needs. Housing is financed largely by public donation and constructed allegedly by volunteers. Last year, the Park focused on upgrading the bear exhibit that features an enclosed viewer deck and improvements to the bear’s pool. Providing the proper diet for these big meat consumers is an expensive budget item as well.
Fast forward and the three mountain lions have swapped living quarters recently. MaryAnn was just down-sized to a cramped holding cage in which she will stay until a new home is located for her. (See above left sign outside her holding cage.) This new housing is in stark contrast to her former home; none of the amenities of her original home are present. in this site. The two sibling cats had been co-habitating in the holding cage since their arrival at the Park in late winter. Meanwhile, the sibling cats (a brother and sister) have been moved into MaryAnne’s former habitat that was built for two cats rather than one.
Johnson and some of his colleagues are looking for a good home for MaryAnn – which so far has been an elusive endeavor.
Any thoughts? Any ideas?
Please see another story on the Maine Wildlife Park previously written herein on July 30, 2015, Post # 2,374.