MaryAnne will remain at the Maine Wildlife Park – permanently!
That was the good news that both volunteers and an employee of the popular Park in Gray told mhn.com yesterday. Until recently, her future home had been a matter of worry within the Park.
On July 24th, mhn.com reported that Park superintendent Curtis Johnson was searching nationwide for a satisfactory home for MaryAnn, a three year old mountain lion born in captivity and having lived most of her life at the Gray Park. Johnson had located two younger mountain lions from the west who were about to be euthanized because suitable homes could not be found for them. Back in April of 2016 Johnson told mhn.com that the decision on sparing the lives of the two young mountain lions over keeping MaryAnn was a no-brainer for him.
At the same time, Johnson urged mhn.com not to write a story about the situation. He planned on finding a suitable home elsewhere for MaryAnn, moving the sibling pair to her former comfortable accommodation and then making a public announcement after the fact. After waiting months for that plan to fall into place, it did not. And MaryAnn remained in her “holding cage” awaiting transfer somewhere out of the Park. (On July 24, 2016, mhn.com blogged about the situation herein.)
A popular animal with the volunteers at the Park, they did not want to see her displaced” by the siblings “from away.” Angela Irwin, 69. and a thirteen (13) year volunteer said: “we love MaryAnn and did not want to see her go elsewhere. Curtis was aware of our feelings. I believe this played a part in his decision to keep her here. And the fact that he couldn’t find a suitable home for her,.” Irwin was volunteering yesterday at the Park snack bar. The mountain lion was named for a now deceased volunteer who started the snack bar at the Park.
MaryAnn is a “people” mountain lion say volunteers. That’s probably because she was born in captivity and has always depended on people to care for her. She talks to us when we get near her – she purrs and rubs her head against the cage when approached according to Park staff. For months now, she’s been confined to a “holding pen” awaiting the transfer that never materialized.
An employee confirmed that the revised plan calls for MaryAnn to be reinstated in her original home nearby. It will be divided into two sections, Two-thirds will be for the siblings and one-third for MaryAnn. Fencing has already been acquired to begin the reconstruction of the pen and her relocation back home. According to the employee who did not give his name, that accommodation will give her plenty of space in which to exercise and bushes and trees to enjoy which she currently lacks in her sterile holding cage.
No official from the Maine Wildlife Park was available to mhn.com yesterday.
The Park closes on Veterans’ Day, Friday, November 11, for the season. Please visit www.mainewildlifepark.com for more information on the Park.