Three cougar kittens are now on display for short periods at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro.
The kittens arrived from the Oregon Zoo last month. They were rescued in January after a hunter killed their mother and raised by the zoo in Oregon until they were weaned and mature enough to be transferred. Members of LightHawk, a group of pilots who volunteer their time and aircraft to conservation efforts, flew the young cougars to North Carolina, according to a zoo press release.
They went through a 30-day quarantine after their arrival in early March. The quarantine is required of all new animals at the zoo.
Keepers on Monday started introducing the kittens to the zoo's cougar exhibit in the cypress swamp habitat.
Also, this past weekend, the zoo unveiled its new exhibit "Bugs: An Epic Adventure." The exhibit features 13 giant animatronic creatures, such as a 12-foot-long stag beetle.
The zoo is in Asheboro, about 90 minutes from Raleigh.