In April 2021, The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota received a call from good Samaritans about an injured female cougar kitten in very bad shape. They named her Anastasia.

Approximately 4-months-old, she was starving and emaciated. She had numerous bites on her body. She was suffering from a large wound on her nose.


The cougar had been purchased as a pet. But because she was unsocialized to people, she ended up out on her own in the wild.

Unable to fend for herself or elude predators, Anastasia had obviously suffered injuries.

Anastasia is rescued

Luckily, little Anastasia is now at The Wildcat Sanctuary, one of the country’s largest accredited sanctuaries for big cats.


Image Courtesy of The Wildcat Sanctuary,


Anastasia’s intake medical exam by the sanctuary’s veterinarian showed numerous, and very serious, health issues.

Weighing just 22 pounds, Anastasia was extremely underweight and dehydrated. She had several bite marks on her fragile little body. Add to that a urinary tract infection, low thyroid, and giardia.



Image Courtesy of The Wildcat Sanctuary,

And she suffered from a large, open wound on her face that was heartbreaking to see.


“When we rescued this poor little female cougar, her injuries were very severe. Her medical condition was so dire, we weren’t sure she would make it,” explained Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director of The Wildcat Sanctuary.

“She needed extensive medical care from our veterinarian. Our team of caregivers worked for weeks to nurse her back to health and help her heal.”

Anastasia’s Future

Now Anastasia will live her life ‘wild at heart’ at The Wildcat Sanctuary. She’ll have a large, natural habitat with lots of room to run, enrichment items to enjoy, and platforms to nap on in the sun.

Image Courtesy of The Wildcat Sanctuary,

The sanctuary plans to eventually introduce her to another cougar so she’ll have a companion.

“Anastasia certainly had a rough start to life. But, from here on out, she’ll be treated with love, respect and dignity at our sanctuary,” explained Thies.


“She’s tiny and shy but loves mealtime. She’s becoming bolder and more confident in her surroundings every day. She has a long, happy life ahead of her here!”

If you’d like to help by becoming Anastasia’s sponsor parent, you can visit the sanctuary’s website HERE.

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, rescue sanctuary located in Sandstone, MN. Funded solely by private donations, the sanctuary provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the wildlife crisis. 
Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. 

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