Cougar Mountain Zoo unveils cougar cubs
June 28, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
Months after Cougar Mountain Zoo’s iconic cougar Nashi died, keepers unveiled a trio of month-old cougar cubs June 23.
The cubs — one male and two females born May 20 — 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,” zoo 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 replace Nashi, a longtime denizen at the nonprofit zoo. 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.”
The big cat collection at the hillside zoo includes rare Bengal tigers — named Taj, Almos, Bagheera and Vitez. Other species at the facility include alpaca, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, parrots and reindeer.
In addition to the rare tigers, the conservation message is carried throughout the zoo. The facility maintains the alpaca herd to teach zoogoers about the vicuña, a similar species at risk from habitat loss and poaching.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.