"The owner told us he had two lynxes, a male and female," Tammy Thies, executive director of the sanctuary, told The Dodo. "The other lynx had passed away from a health issue a couple years prior. He bought them from a game farm to keep them as pets."
"In Minnesota we do have a state law against exotic cats as pets, but [the lynxes] must have been under the radar because they were kept in a house, so people weren't really aware," Thies said. Cleo's previous owner was going through a divorce and moving to a place where he didn't think he could get away with keeping her legally - so he asked for the sanctuary to take her in.