Declawed Cougar Chomps Teen

By Yul

What’s with stupid young men and big cats? Now an innocent cougar named Chaos is in the dog house because of a 21-year-old trespasser named Anthony Zitnick.

On November 15, Zitnick, using an old key he had from 2005 to do yard work after Hurricane Wilma, took 16-year-old Amanda Gomez and her mother into a private wildlife sanctuary in Miami Gardens, Florida, owned by Alan Rigerman, a retired teacher.

Chaos and owner Rigerman in happier times (Photo - MiamiNewTimes)

Chaos and owner Rigerman in happier times (Photo - MiamiNewTimes)

Reports conflict on whether Zitnick was trying to impress Amanda as a love interest, or if he was just helping her fulfill a community service requirement for high school graduation by cleaning cages. Amanda wanted to be a zoologist.

Either way, Rigerman was away and had no idea he had visitors.

Chaos, the 4-year-old, 150-pound declawed cougar was minding his own business when Zitnick let him out of his cage. Nobody has said why Chaos lunged at Amanda, but some authorities believe the attack was her fault. Chaos punctured Amanda in several places with his teeth and chomped the back of her head. Luckily, he didn’t rabbit-kick her with his still-intact back claws or she’d have been shredded.

A neighbor hearing Amanda’s screams came running and managed to kick and punch Chaos back into his cage. Zitnick apparently just stood there in shock.

On the Today Show this morning, Amanda said she’s rethinking her career aspirations because the only cat she trusts now is her own domestic shorthair.

Zitnick is free on bond after being charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling.

Chaos lives at the sanctuary with his mother, Chantelle, snakes, tortoises, and alligators. He has no history of violence, and his eventual fate is unknown.

We just hope this beautiful cat won’t have to suffer – or die – for Zitnick’s stupidity.

4 Responses to Declawed Cougar Chomps Teen

  1. Mauigirl says:

    I hope not! I can’t stand when innocent animals suffer because of the stupidity of human beings.

  2. catsworking says:

    I suspect Chaos will be spared because the girl is expected to heal 100% and, although the attack was scary, she wasn’t mauled anywhere near enough to be killed. Chaos seemed to calm down immediately afterward and they said he was lying around with his mother when other people showed up.

    I hope the boom falls on that idiot Zitnick, who had no business touching Chaos in the first place.

  3. Morgan says:

    This impulsive young man is an obvious danger to both his and her well-being and needs help to get him to understand a few basic things people with half a brain would already know like:
    A. you don’t trespass on other people’s property and
    B. you never knowingly approach a large and/or wild animal that is not in a zoo and thus kept at a “safe distance” from this kind of human stupidity.
    C.Meanwhile, Amanda should totally leave this Zitnick person for another guy who has a greater degree of common sense and self-control because Zitnick has the potential for doing something else that is risky and foolish and next time she might not be so lucky.
    D. And as for YOU, Mr. Zitnick, do what you can to stay out of the news for a while. You don’t want to find your name in some future dictionary of the English language as a synonym for “COMPLETE AND UTTER STUPIDITY”.

  4. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Morgan! (not to be confused with our longstanding regular, MorganLF)

    This post is 2 years old, so I Googled the case to see if there was any resolution, but didn’t find anything. I assume Chaos wasn’t held responsible and is living happily ever after. No word on Zitnick either, but saddled with a name like that, I see a long career in fast food ahead of him.

    I hope Amanda dumped Zitnick as soon as she recovered from her 15 minutes of fame. You’re right. A guy who’s capable of letting a girl get up close and personal with a strange cougar could very well do something worse next time – like push her in front of a bus. He’s obviously lacking the danger-sensing gene.

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