SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The director of the wild cat sanctuary supervising a cougar spotted in Springfield last month said he’s optimistic for the cat’s future.

“He’s doing much better than I thought he would so I’m optimistic,” Joe Kent said, founder and director of the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

Courtesy of Exotic Feline Rescue Center

A cougar detected in the Springfield area last month was announced by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to be tranquilized and moved to Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana.

According to Kent, the cougar arrived at the rescue center with ticks and scars on its back. The cougar has been treated for its ticks. Kent said the scars likely come from the mountain lion climbing under a barbed wire fence.

The mountain lion is eating healthy has adjusted to its enclosure and found some napping spots. “It’s found some places it’s really liked,” Kent said.

Kent said the cougar will likely stay by itself for its captive life.

“If an adult cat comes by itself, it will likely stay that way once it gets here,” he said.

The sanctuary also plans to have a special holiday celebration with the cats next month. Kent also said the cat may have a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.