Beausoleil, “Beau” for short, is now our youngest cougar. He was rescued at about 6 months of age from Washington state in January 2019. He is wild-born and was found wandering in a family’s backyard with no sign of his mother. He has settled into the sanctuary life beautifully. He enjoys watching what is happening around him and will often come up to the fence to watch trucks and people walk by. He continues to be shy and elusive most of the time, but does enjoy playing “stalk and hide” with keepers and staff. Beau enjoys enrichment, though unlike other residents at Carolina Tiger Rescue, he prefers to wait until his caretakers have left the area, before playing with and destroying what he is given!
Born July 17, 2018
Rescued January 17, 2019
How Beausoleil Came to the Sanctuary
Beausoleil, or "Beau", came to Carolina Tiger Rescue in January of 2019. Beau was wild-born in the state of Washington. He was seen in a family's backyard a few times without his mother and when Wildlife Services came out, they trapped him and decided to relocate him to a sanctuary. In the state of Washington, any apex predator that is captured has to be relocated outside of the state within 24 hours or they are euthanized. Carolina Tiger Rescue was contacted by one of our sister sanctuaries, Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, who has worked with the state of Washington before to re-home orphaned cougars. We coordinated with them to get Beau flown to Minnesota where he was picked up by a Wildcat Sanctuary volunteer and driven to Indianapolis. There, they met members of our team to bring Beau the rest of the way to his new home.
As Beau has continued to grow, so has his confidence. He has become a fan favorite on the tour path and he thinks that following small children is the best activity. Beau is still shy and takes a bit of time to warm up to new situations but with the help of operant conditioning, Beau has become less nervous and anxious. Beau loves enrichment and one of his favorite things to do is tear boxes into the smallest pieces possible! Beau is enjoying chasing the cars as they go by and has learned to take treats off as stick gently. He is a curious cougar who always wants to know what is going on, but is still timid with new things.
Beau is dark grey with a white belly. Because he is still a cub, he still has his spots along his belly. He has enormous feet which he has not yet grown into. Beau is currently in the process of loosing his baby teeth and his adult teeth are making their way in. We have not heard him purr yet, but it will still take some time for him to settle into his new home.
Where in Sanctuary
Beau currently lives in Elm Grove across from the Roman and Reina Lion and next to Albert Kinkajou.. Upon his arrival, he had a longer-than-normal stay in quarantine to help him get used to humans in a controlled environment. When he was moved to his outdoor enclosure, he was only visited by keepers at first. Being wild-born, he had never been around humans before and still needed time to acclimate to his new surroundings. Over time, he grew more comfortable around small groups of people and more curious about tour groups. Keepers decided to observe his behavior during occasional tour group visits. He did so wonderful that he is now on tour! He has become a very confident cougar.
Wild Born Animals
It is unclear as to how Beau became orphaned. However, one problem many wild animals face and one that is becoming more common is loss of habitat due to human encroachment. As we humans continue to expand our territory, it is important to remember we need to preserve land for the wild animals and make corridors and pathways for their territory to remain accessible so they can remain wild.