A tiny, orphaned Cougar cub has briefly taken up residence behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo’s veterinary medical center.
The cub, described as “loud and rambunctious” by zoo vet staff, was recently rescued by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, after a landslide separated the young Cougar from its mother. After a short stopover in Portland, the cub will be headed to a new permanent home at the Minnesota Zoo.
“It was the victim of a landslide that occurred on Sunday [April 23] in Pend Oreille County,” said Rich Beausoleil, WDFW Bear and Cougar specialist. “A member of the public found it the day after in the mud and called WDFW.”
The cub, a five-week-old male weighing around four pounds, wouldn’t stand a chance alone in the wild, so Beausoleil contacted Oregon Zoo keeper, Michelle Schireman, who serves as the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ species coordinator for Cougars.
“Without a mother, young Cougars can’t survive on their own in the wild, so I work to find them good homes,” Schireman said. “We would rather they grow up with their moms, but when that’s not an option we want them to have the best lives possible.”