Local News

Orphaned cougars celebrate 1st birthday at NC Zoo

Posted December 17, 2014

Heath and Olive, cougar siblings, are on exhibit daily ath the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Photo courtesy of the zoo.

— Three orphaned cougars that were brought to the North Carolina Zoo in March will celebrate their first birthday next week.

Zoo keepers said they will host a birthday party for the animals on Dec. 22, offering them a large papier-mache “cake” they can rip to shreds.

“The holiday season is about cherishing lives,” zoo director David Jones said in a statement. “It is a miracle that all three cougars are still alive; their story is unbelievable. We are thankful all three animals have safe homes and their lives remind people every day why conservation and zoos are important.”

Heath, Olive and Willow were rescued after a hunter in Oregon killed their mother. The cubs were taken to the Oregon Zoo, where they stayed until they were weaned.

Willow moved to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc, Wisc., in October because the North Carolina facility did not have the space to keep all three.

Heath and Olive are on exhibit daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Christopher Byrne Dec 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Beautiful animals! Why was the mother shot? Was she a "nuisance" or was she defending her new-born cubs from a threat. I wish they would become the dominant species.

  • davidhartman Dec 17, 2014

    Beautiful animals!

  • simplylindsey2010 Dec 17, 2014

    Paper mache cake? Your doing it wrong, they want steak:)

  • Thomas Fenske Dec 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Actually, I believe Cougars are more closely related to house cats in the feline genome than they are to other big cats.
    As a proud University of Houston alumnus I can easily say Go, Cougars!

  • A person Dec 17, 2014

    Actually, cougars celebrate nothing. People celebrate these things, animals could not care one way or another

  • Obama-in-2016 Dec 17, 2014

    They are cuties!! Love checking out cougars!

  • Amy Macon Dec 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Beautiful animals. Stupid hunter!!

  • lec02572 Dec 17, 2014

    Beautiful animals. Love seeing the cougars at the zoo.

  • Claytonmomof2 Dec 17, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You can snuggle snuggle.....I prefer to admire their beauty from behind the fence.

  • Tim Pearce Dec 17, 2014
    user avatar

    Look at the pretty kittys... Snuggle snugle,,,