CENTER POINT, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Clay County is getting ready to expand this year.

Owner and director Joe Taft said they working on two projects– one to bring a new medical building to the property, and another to serve as the home to one of their newest animals.

Taft said the medical facility is being donated by a family in New York– and will help the staff care for the 120 plus-animals they currently care for. Construction will start on the 7,000 square foot building next month.

“We try and provide all the animals with a good living environment,” Taft said. We want their lives to be important to them and the best way to do that is to make them happy.”

The building will include indoor and outdoor recovery cages, an operating room and an x-ray machine, among other things.

The second is a cage that will be home to a cougar the center received last October. The animal, who has not yet been named, made headlines around Illinois and beyond when he was captured in a residential area near Springfield last year.

Taft said he was taken aback by the cougar’s backstory, and wanted to construct the cage as a result.

“I’m very impressed by somebody who can walk 700 miles and cross two of the biggest rivers in this country, and we’re trying to show that in the cage we’re building for him,” he said. “It’s well over an acre, it’s a little over 230 feet per side. Once he moves into that, it will be about as close as we can come to making him feel like he’s in the wild.”

They are currently raising funds for the second part of the fence to house the animal, and those details can be found on the organization’s website.