Keepers at Zoo Sauvage in Quebec, Canada suspected the arrival of a newborn Cougar when they observed a change in one of their female's behavior. The confirmed birth of a new cub has keepers excited but cautious, so mother and cub have been seperated from the other Cougars on exhibit. Stay tuned for more information and updates as they become available.
Three orphaned cougar cubs with baby-blue eyes, fuzzy spotted coats, and much-too-big feet have briefly taken up residence behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo until they can be moved to permanent homes in Nashville and Houston next week.
The 10-week-old cubs, all three male, were found in Washington state after their mother was illegally shot by a hunter. When wildlife officials learned the cubs were still alive, they quickly contacted Oregon Zoo keeper Michelle Schireman, who serves as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ population manager for cougars.
“I’m usually the first person fish and wildlife departments call when orphaned cubs are found in the wild,” Schireman said. “Young cougars can’t survive without their mothers, so I work with accredited zoos to find them new homes.”
Keeper Liz Bailey, keeper Michelle Schireman and veterinary technician Kelli Harvison (from left).
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Two eight-week-old Cougar cubs are now on display in the Cincinnati Zoo nursery. Born September 17th, the brothers, named “Joseph” and “Tecumseh” will assist the Zoo in educating people about the need to protect these beautiful cats that once roamed throughout much of America. The brothers will soon join the Cat Ambassador Program in the future Night Hunters exhibit.
Photo credits (two bottom photos): Connie Lemperie
The Oregon Zoo's Cougar cub will be on exhibit starting Thursday, Nov. 11, though visitors will need to keep a sharp eye out to see the youngster. Like all baby Cougars, the female cub is well-camouflaged by the brown spots on her coat. Since her birth Sept. 19, the cub has lived in a maternity den with her mother, Chinook. She and Chinook will have access to the Cougar exhibit in the morning, while the cub's father, Paiute, will be on exhibit in the afternoon. The cub, who keepers describe as "brave and feisty," has ventured into the exhibit several times this past week, first with the exhibit's viewing areas completely closed and then with zoo staff watching from the viewing areas.
"As we expected, the cub quickly adapted to having people around," said Michelle Schireman, Oregon Zoo Cougar keeper. "She's quite the little explorer. Her comfort was the determining factor in our decision to open the exhibit to zoo visitors."
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First time mother Cougar, Chinook, gave birth to a healthy female cub Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Oregon Zoo. According to keepers, Chinook is taking good care of her cub, which weighed around 2 pounds at birth. "The cub is an adorable, roly-poly little cat covered in dark spots," said Michelle Schireman, Oregon Zoo cougar keeper. "Like all baby cougars, her coat will lose its spots as she grows — it should be fun to watch her coloring change to an adult pattern."
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10 week old Gillin, the orphan baby cougar rescued from the wilds of Oregon, is adjusting well to her new life at the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo. Many zoo animals that are solitary in the wild benefit from having friends and hobbies in a captive situation. Gillin will be introduced to the NEW Zoo's adult cougar B.B. when she is a bit older.
Like most rambunctious babies, she loves to wrestle. In order for her to learn appropriate social behavior, she has been provided with a playmate. Treva is an energetic 2 year old Welsh terrier who belongs to Curator Carmen Murach.
The cougar cub we just featured in her full kitten glory. At this age keepers can still handle the cub, named "Gillin," but it's pretty clear that won't last long.
Last month, a cougar cub was discovered in Klamaath Falls, Oregon. Residing temporarily in the care of the Oregon Zoo, the cub is preparing for a move to his new home at The Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo. Here, puma expert Michelle Schireman is seen yesterday, caring for the young cougar.
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