Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain Zoo unveils cougar cubs

June 23, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Cougar Mountain Zoo's collection includes a trio of cougar cubs. Contributed

NEW — 8:30 p.m. June 23, 2011

Months after Cougar Mountain Zoo’s iconic cougar died, keepers unveiled a trio of month-old cougar cubs Thursday.

The cubs — one male and two females — should go on display July 16. In the meantime, zoogoers might see the cubs during unscheduled public appearances after July 1.

“The cubs are absolutely adorable! They are extremely playful and curious about everything,” General Curator Robyn Barfoot said in a news release. “I can’t wait to bring them home and introduce them to our zoo visitors.”

Barfoot and Senior Keeper Sasha Puskar picked up the then-2-pound cubs at a Wisconsin zoo. The cubs were born May 20.

Cougar Mountain Zoo unveils month-old cougar cubs. Contributed

The cubs replace Nashi, a longtime Cougar Mountain Zoo denizen. Nashi died in February at age 17. Keepers started the search for cougar cubs soon after.

The zoo lacked a namesake big cat in the months since Nashi’s death.

“We are still recovering from losing Nashi this past February. He was an incredible and iconic cougar,” Barfoot said. “With the addition of these new cubs, our hearts are happy again. The cubs have a lot to live up to, but so far, they are doing a fantastic job. They are healthy, happy cubs and I think our visitors will give them a wonderful welcome.”

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