November 30, 2010
Issaquah Reindeer Festival raises money for exhibits
Not many people can name all nine of Santa’s reindeer, but Cougar Mountain Zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot can name 10.
That’s right. There’s Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen — not to mention Rudolph — and, Olive, as in “All of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names; they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.”
“Zookeepers have a very strange sense of humor,” Barfoot said.
There weren’t always 10 reindeer at Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain Zoo. The first group of reindeer, six in all, came directly from Siberia 23 years ago. Though at the zoo — and in Issaquah, no less — the reindeer not only help Santa every Christmas season but also bring in much-needed dollars for the zoo, which has a slow season during the cold, rainy months. Read more
October 22, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 22, 2010
Cougar Mountain Zoo is more than $50,000 closer to opening a cheetah exhibit.
The zoo hosted a gala fundraiser last month to raise some of the $100,000 needed to add cheetahs a big cat collection comprised of tigers and a cougar. The masquerade soiree raised $51,800 through ticket sales, auctions and the chance to purchase a photo alongside a 4-year-old female cheetah.
Cougar Mountain Zoo aims to become the first facility in Washington to open a cheetah exhibit.
Zoo leaders announced plans last summer to add a cheetah exhibit and plan to construct and open the habitat by late 2011 or early 2012.
August 31, 2010
Cougar Mountain Zoo has raised all but about $100,000 needed for the Issaquah institution to open a cheetah exhibit, possibly as early as next year.
The zoo has planned a posh Cheetah Masquerade Gala for Sept. 18 to help meet the fundraising goal. Zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot announced a special treat for attendees at the gala: the chance to have their photo taken next to a cheetah.
Only a lucky handful can get up close to the cheetah — a 4-year-old female named Taini from Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore. — by bidding for three photo opportunities up for grabs in a silent auction.
Wildlife Safari, a drive-through preserve about 90 minutes south of Eugene, is the only facility in the Pacific Northwest to exhibit cheetahs.
April 27, 2010
A tiger’s birthday is a once-a-year delight
It was a sunny, gorgeous day April 11 as the 3-year-old tore into his presents with his teeth and claws and gnawed on a rack of ribs to the delight of more than 100 people.
But this wasn’t your average toddler. This was Taj, Cougar Mountain Zoo’s golden Bengal tiger, one of only 102 left in the world, who turned 3 that day. (In fact, the last golden Bengal that was seen in the wild was spotted in 1932!)
If you weren’t there, you truly missed something special. But never fear, you get a second chance this Sunday, May 2, when Almos, the zoo’s royal white Bengal tiger, one of only 400 left in the world, will celebrate turning 3.
Watching these big cats, who weigh more than 400 pounds, pounce and chase things will turn you into a kid again. Read more
December 29, 2009
November 17, 2009
Last week, I decided to drop by Cougar Mountain Zoo to check on Taj and Almos, the elder of our local, rare Bengal tigers. I’ve seen them grow up, like many of you have done.
I knew they were moving into their new, larger, adult habitat at some point. (Taj had been in there for nearly three weeks. Almos, a little shyer about the move, maybe because he heard people talk about the horrors of packing and moving, had entered the enclosure only three days before.) Read more
November 16, 2009
August 25, 2009
Issaquah’s newest tiger additions have names and are on display for visitors at Cougar Mountain Zoo. Read more
July 14, 2009
July 14, 2009
Issaquah’s Cougar Mountain Zoological Park is the recipient of two new Bengal tiger cubs.
“We are very happy. We want people to come out and be a part of these two boys’ lives,” said Robyn Barfoot, general curator for Cougar Mountain Zoo. “If it weren’t for our guests, we wouldn’t be able to do this.” Read more