An orphaned cougar cub transferred to the Greater Vancouver Zoo after it was caught wandering the streets of Courtenay has died, the zoo confirmed Monday.

Witnesses reported multiple sightings of the lone female cub last month before conservation officers found and tranquilized it.

With release and relocation not an option, the cat was transferred to the zoo so it could be evaluated for permanent placement at the Aldergrove facility.

Veterinarians at first believed the cougar to be in good health despite looking a little thin, and efforts were made to increase her weight – but things took a turn for the worse.

“Her health rapidly declined late last week and ultimately saw her passing early Friday morning,” the zoo said in a statement. “Initial examination revealed long standing accumulation of fluid in the chest as the probable cause however final necropsy results are pending.”

The province says cougars are not generally admitted to orphan animal-rearing programs, which see animals eventually released back into the wild, due to the potential for safety issues should they become habituated to humans.