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Uploaded on Feb 2, 2012
January 2012: Meet Samantha, PAWS' mountain lion. At 19 years of age, she is one of the senior residents living at PAWS' sanctuaries.
Samantha was born in a drive-through, safari-type park in Arkansas. She was taken from her mother before she was three weeks of age and placed in the "petting zoo" at the park, where she was later sold to a visitor who felt sorry for her because the little cougar appeared to be starving. Two months later her new owners surrendered her to the local humane society because "she was getting out of hand."
The humane society contacted PAWS and Samantha arrived in January of 1993. Weighing a mere 10 pounds, and unable to stand on her back legs, she would drag herself around by her over-developed front legs, The tiny feline was suffering from malnutrition and calcium deficiency.
Her story exemplifies a pervasive problem that still exists in parts of this country -- excessive breeding of exotic animals which contributes to the continued surplus of captive species whose rightful place is in the wild.
Long since recovered from her sad ordeal, Samantha lives in a spacious, sunny, wooded habitat at PAWS' original sanctuary in Galt, California.
In this "blast from the past" video, here's Samantha's arrival at PAWS in 1993.