Oregon man must give up pet lynx

Dec. 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM   |   Comments

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GLADSTONE, Ore., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A Gladstone, Ore., man said he will give up his pet lynx after seeking an exemption to a local law prohibiting ownership of wild animals.

Patrick Clark, 43, a Marine veteran with post-traumatic stress syndrome, moved from Milwaukee to Gladstone in 2012 with his 16-year-old, 35-pound pet Siberian lynx, Sosha, and sought an exemption to a municipal code prohibiting the keeping of "wild and dangerous animals."

While researching how to change the code, city employers discovered a 2009 state law effectively ending private possession of many wild animals, including wild cats such as Sosha, the (Portland) Oregonian reported Wednesday.

When Clark lived in Milwaukee, Sosha did not weigh enough to be considered an exotic pet, and he was not aware of the Oregon law, he said.

His wife, Molly, told city officials the declawed animal lives in harmony with their two children, 10 and 16, and has a calming effect on her husband's stress disorder.

Although a Veterans Affairs doctor was able to classify Sosha as a companion animal, the lynx is still in violation of the state law, the newspaper said, adding that, although state agencies are working to find an exception, Clark has reconciled himself to surrendering Sosha, perhaps to an animal sanctuary.

"It's over," he told the city council. "I'm sick and tired of fighting this thing."

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