Enya Cougar


ENYA Female Cougar


12/9/97 – 11/18/12


Enya was born at the sanctuary back before we knew that none of the cats in private hands could serve any conservation effort.


She was bottle-raised and leash trained from a very young age. Enya was filmed, when she was just 10 days old with their mother, by a film crew from the British Broadcasting Company.


The footage was included in a documentary on the Florida Everglades and the Florida Panther. Just like so many cougars that are born into the pet trade, Enya, although hand raised, grew into her natural instincts and at a year old became unhandleable.


Tributes to Enya Cougar

Regina Turgeon Jan 4, 2013
As I write this, I am still crying, as I do every time I walk by her enclosure during a tour.. It has taken me this long to write something since it is still hard to talk about her… She was, I think everyone’s favorite, as she would come out to meet everyone with a purr. I miss her so much…I would have every one during a tour listen to her purring and they would all be amazed! I will always miss that! Rest in Peace beautiful girl :((
Say hello to all the ones we have lost since up there!

Unknown Dec 6, 2012
Just like Kim, Enya was the first cat to respond to me and come to me every time I knelt at her enclosure. She was so playful and pleasant and was one of my favorites. She loved tour groups and always gave a show. I certainly miss her even though I have only been volunteering for a few months. Rest in peace sweet Enya.

Unknown Nov 28, 2012
she really touched our hearts. I loved to hear her purr.

Pam Rodriguez Nov 26, 2012
What else can be said about beautiful Enya? The purring she made for guests was always a hit with them. It was, however, a good teaching moment for tour guides, as to why these wonderful creatures deserve to be in the wild and not in captivity. Thank you to all who took care of Enya.

Unknown Nov 23, 2012
Dear sweet Enya. You were the first cat that responded to my voice. I loved you from the minute I met you. You would always come out and see me. I loved the little routine you had for my tours. You would squeak at me from the tour path when you heard me coming. And if I did not get there fast enough you would walk away 🙂 Eventually you would come into your lockout, purr with your amazing voice, take a drink of water so all the guests could get a great picture of you, and then turn your back on us and sit in the doo way of your lockout. I remember how happy I was to help build your donut toy. It was one of my first projects. I am also so happy that you loved it so much. I will always miss you. Say “Hi” to Hal for me.

Marie Schoubert Nov 22, 2012
Very sad! I will always remember Enya and her beautiful purr. R.I.P. beautiful baby and say hello to all our Angels up there… Sylvester probably was very proud that you shared his house for a while!

Unknown Nov 22, 2012
Since today is Thanksgiving, I thought I would come here and say how thankful I am to have known Enya in my short time here, When I came to Big Cat Rescue in September for my interview, she was one of the first cats to make a distinct impression on me. Kim walked my through the sanctuary and Enya ran up to Kim as we neared Enya’ enclosure. She purred and rubbed against the bars of her enclosure. This was the first time I had ever heard a cougar purr. Hearing her purr and seeing the way Enya responded to Kim showed me that Big Cat Rescue was a great place for cats. Enya helped to make this same impression on our guests during tours. Instead of hiding of ignoring people or pacing, Enya should what a comfortable and enriching sanctuary we have here. We are very lucky to have had Enya. I am certain that her story has helped further our mission. While I am sad that she has left us so suddenly, I take great comfort imagining that she has found an even better place than we have here. She is now in a place with no bars. She can run and jump as she was meant to do. She can purr all the time. Enya, you were a phenomenal cat and a true blessing to Big Cat Rescue.

Diana Rao Nov 20, 2012
I just can’t believe that Enya is gone. She & Scratch were my favorite cougars as through their interactions with me I learned about their immense beauty, generous spirit and playfulness. One could always count on Enya to greet you & your guests and act as the perfect “spokescat” for their breed. I can’t imagine what it will be like to walk past her enclosure and not hear her greet me or try and stalk me. I know I am not the only one who will miss her so much. Rest in peace dearest Enya, wherever you may be.

Unknown Nov 20, 2012
Enya you were the first cougar I ever heard purr. Every time I went by your cage you chatted and purred for us. Will miss you much, have fun running free with shadow and sugar.

Big Cat Education Nov 19, 2012
Dearest Enya was such a lovable, wonderful cat. Her loss is so shocking and heartbreaking. There have been so many good times with her that I remember, but my favorite was watching her tear apart the cardboard octopus the campers made for her this summer. I will really miss her little chirps and her big loud purr and her insistence on greeting every tour that came by. She was a ray of sunshine. It just killed me to see her cage empty today.

Lynda Licht Nov 19, 2012
Enya was beautiful, friendly, affectionate and all those wonderful things expressed by all. I believe she must have been everyone’s first love at the sanctuary. When we were all new to BCR, backing up a lot of tours and then starting to give them, she was so generous with her time and attention that we all couldn’t help but fall in love with her. How blessed we were to have her in our lives. We will never forget our first love, never.

Unknown Nov 19, 2012
OMG! This is so sad, Enya your beautiful face, yours purrs, your playfulness, you will be missed pretty lady, this is such a shock! You and Hal and all the others are looking down at us knowing everyone there gave and gives 100% of their hearts to you all. Love you and will miss you pretty girl

Regina Rinaldi Nov 19, 2012
OMG, I can’t believe it!!!!! What a shock. What a crowd pleaser Enya was. The Keeper tours loved her, and loved to watch her tear into a cinnamon bag. I always called her “little Girl” because she was so sweet and friendly. She was the easiest cougar to feed beside Hal, always patient and always gentle. It hurts when the old ones pass, but when the healthy ones pass, it crushes me. My heart is broken into a thousand pieces. Enya will be missed, but now maybe Hal has a girlfriend. I love and miss you Little Girl.

Sherry Levesque Nov 19, 2012
Oh Beautiful Enya – I will miss you so much – my tour guests will never again see your beautiful face and hear your fabulous purr and meows. Have fun with Hal, and Scratch and Sylvester and all your other “brothers and sisters” in big cat heaven.

BethAnn Bluder Nov 19, 2012
What can you say about Enya. That beautiful sweet face who loved company and attention. It is a bittersweet loss. I loved all the Cougars such different personalities but Enya was so special.

Unknown Nov 19, 2012
I love all of the cats at bcr, but the cougars, there is just something so incredibly special about them. Something so amazing about connecting with an amazing animal like that. Enya was my friend. She was always so happy to see me. I would just sit and talk to her and she would just pur and chatter back. I spent some time with her Saturday as per my usual routine, and I attribute the relationship that I built with her to being a huge reason why Mac cougar has been trusting me more and more.

I miss every cat we have lost that I had the honor of knowing during my time at BCR, but Enya is somehow so much more difficult to accept. Maybe it was the sudden nature, or maybe just because I love her so much.

I send my love to everyone as I write this, may our continued love for the cats and each other lessen the pain.

Carole Baskin Nov 18, 2012
Enya was named for the singer because when my grandfather was dying in Hospice care at home, he said he loved listening to her on CDs. He died just days before Enya was born. For 15 years her name has been a bittersweet word on my lips. I loved that the singer gave my grandfather some comfort in his last months, but missed him every time I called to Enya the cougar.

Losing Enya was sudden and unexpected. She had been in what appeared to be perfect health and just the day before I had been watching her purring contently as I paused to talk about her with a tour group. She was found dead on 11/18/12 and a necropsy revealed that a strip of red meat was found lodged in her esophagus that may have caused her to asphyxiate. If this was the cause of her death it is a freak occurrence. There is nothing that could have been done to prevent it.

Cutting the red meat up into smaller pieces would not be the solution as the cats would be more likely to eat these smaller pieces much more quickly than when they take their time and chew the bigger pieces. The reason that we supplement their regular diet with chunks of beef and chicken is so that they can have the pleasure of gnawing at their food as they are hard wired to do. We will all miss her and the huge purring sounds that came from such a petite little cougar.

More Memorials at https://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/

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