Dead cougar found inside Loxahatchee freezer - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Dead cougar found inside Loxahatchee freezer

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LOXAHATCHEE, FL (WFLX) - A captive cougar was discovered being preserved in a freezer of a Loxahatchee Groves man's home nearly a month before it was reported to law enforcement.

Gene Stimmler, 73, isn't facing criminal charges from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, after they found a dead cougar in a freezer covered in mangos and birds.

A FWC incident report shows that the officer originally thought the animal was a Florida Panther, but after further investigation have confirmed that Stimmler had a captive cougar.

The FWC says Stimmler currently doesn't have a permit to possess a captive cougar on his property, but did have one for his two cougars when they were alive.

Stimmler spoke Wednesday at his Loxahatchee Groves property, off of D Road, which is full of different exotic animals in cages, and he said he wanted to make the animal into a rug.

He stated the cougar had been dead for about nine months and putting it in a freezer was the only way to preserve the animal which he says died of natural causes.

Stimmler also showed his other cougar that died, which is now sitting stuffed and mounted on a platform in his house.

Joseph Valenzuela accused Stimmler of shooting the cougar in the sheriff's report, but the FWC said after an investigation they didn't notice any wrongdoing  to the cougar,  and that it died of natural causes.

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