PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 7 (UPI) — A Rhode Island widow decided to give up a mountain lion she and her husband had kept as a pet, and managed to elude the media in doing so.
Robert J. and Marilyn Loppi had kept Narla since around 1997 but after Robert’s death from leukemia in May, Marilyn decided she could not care for the animal the way her late husband had, the Providence (R.I.) Journal reported Thursday.
Loppi planned with an animal sanctuary in Tampa, Fla., to take Narla away quietly for a life in a warmer climate in the cat’s old age. Scott Lope, director of operations at Big Cat Rescue, sent Loppi a crate for Narla and Loppi lured the cat into the cage and called Lope, who was waiting down the road.
Lope, who has been named Hero of the Year by the TV channel Animal Planet, arrived with two assistants to pick up Narla, and left.
Providence animal control officer, Michael Merchant, said he waited at the police station for a scheduled morning meeting with a crew from the television show but Lope and his staffers were apparently making off with Narla and avoiding media attention.
Loppi said her husband would have wanted it that way, the Journal reported.
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