Cougar dies at NC Zoo after stay of 14 years

Dodger, a 14-year-old cougar at the N.C. Zoo, was euthanized Wednesday following a progressively degenerative joint disease. (Photo courtesy, N.C. Zoo)

Dodger, a 14-year-old cougar at the N.C. Zoo, was euthanized Wednesday following a progressively degenerative joint disease. (Photo courtesy, N.C. Zoo)

Dodger, a 14-year-old cougar at the N.C. Zoo, was euthanized Wednesday following a progressively degenerative joint disease. (Photo courtesy, N.C. Zoo)

Dodger, a 14-year-old cougar at the N.C. Zoo, was euthanized Wednesday following a progressively degenerative joint disease. (Photo courtesy, N.C. Zoo)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — A 14-year-old cougar that had lived at the North Carolina Zoo since it was three months old has died. 

Zoo officials say Dodger was euthanized Wednesday after he stopped responding to medications used to treat a “severe degenerative joint disease.” 

Dodger was one of two cougars at the zoo. 

The Michigan Human Society gave Dodger to the park in 1998 after firefighters found the cub in a cage while responding to a call at a deserted building in Detroit.  He was eventually confiscated from the owner of the building. 

The zoo’s other cougar arrived in 1997 when he was also given as a cub from a Michigan animal-welfare organization. 

The surviving cougar is in good health and can normally be seen daily at the zoo’s Cypress Swamp exhibit.

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