WYLIE, Texas (AP) - A cougar has died at a North Texas animal sanctuary decimated by the outbreak of a fatal virus.
But officials at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in the Dallas suburb of Wylie say the cougar was euthanized due to kidney failure, and not the victim of canine distemper that has claimed five tigers and a lioness.
The refuge announced over the weekend the death of the cougar, a 20-year-old female named Crimson.
Her death was preceded by the recent deaths of the six big cats in an outbreak of distemper that refuge officials describe as "an absolute living nightmare."
More than a dozen other big cats are still suffering from the virus.
Experts believe raccoons likely started the outbreak by crawling around the large outdoor cages.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)