This story is courtesy of our sister station, WCMH in Columbus.
BERLIN CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) – The “cougar petter” is back again, this time getting kicked out of a Youngstown area animal rescue.
According to a report from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened about 3 p.m. Wednesday at Noah’s Lost Ark in Berlin Center.
Josh Newell bought admission to the facility before going back to the parking lot and changing into a t-shirt which read “Cougar Love,” according to the report. An employee then recognized Newell while he was holding a selfie stick in the gift shop.
Employees then asked Newell to leave, fearing for the safety of the animals. Ellen Karnofel, the owner of the facility, told deputies that she believed Newell was trying to make a Youtube reality series about petting cougars.
Newell left without incident and no charges have been filed. According to its website, Noah’s Lost Ark houses seven cougars in the facility.
Newell was convicted of criminal trespassing after he posted video of himself jumping over a barrier in order to pet cougars at the Columbus Zoo in July. He was also banned from the zoo for two years.