DANVILLE — A 70-pound cougar which was reported missing early Friday on Kaylor Road near Danville was later returned to its home, according to Pam Zimelis, daughter of the cat’s owner, Lanny Parrish.
A call was placed to the Danville Police Department early Friday morning reporting the cougar was missing. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was then notified and a search began.
Missing was Tasha, a 10-year-old cougar, tan in color with a white chest and declawed on its front paws. Zimelis said the roof collapsed on the cement block building the cat is housed in, allowing it to escape.
Parrish contacted a cat rescue shelter in Johnstown, and a representative knowledgeable about cougars stated the cat was probably near his home. A call was later received from a neighbor saying they had spotted the animal not far away from its home. Parrish later located Tasha around 11 p.m. Friday, corralled her and was able to guide her back home where she walked right into her pen, untouched.
A longtime animal lover, Parrish previously operated a petting zoo near Danville, and has taken in many animals for 48 years. Zimelis said that while on his honeymoon in Florida, her father brought home a squirrel monkey, and thus started his love for wild animals. He has kept some as pets, some for a public petting zoo, and has taken in some sick animals to nurse. As Parrish was recently cutting back on the number of animals he was keeping, some were taken to animal shelters, and some others escaped, Zimelis said.
However, Tasha was the last of the animals Parrish had kept at his home. Already scheduled to be taken to a cat rescue shelter, Tasha now resides at a rescue shelter near Ashland. She now has a good home, according to Zimelis, as many volunteers come to this shelter and take good care of its animals.