Cougar Cubs Stop In Portland En Route To Tennessee

OPB | Jan. 28, 2013 3:56 p.m. | Portland

Contributed By:

Courtney Sherwood

Two orphaned cougar cubs found starving near Missoula, Mont., are temporarily living at the Oregon Zoo. Monday night they are scheduled to fly to a permanent home at Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee.

One of two cougar cubs temporarily staying at the Oregon Zoo.

One of two cougar cubs temporarily staying at the Oregon Zoo.

Oregon Zoo

“The cubs are about as large as medium-sized dogs, with paws as big as bread plates,” said Michelle Schireman, Oregon Zoo zookeeper. “They still have a bit of blue about their eyes and the fuzzy spotted coats you see on younger cougar cubs, but both the blue and the spots have begun to fade.”

One of two cougar cubs temporarily staying at the Oregon Zoo.

One of two cougar cubs temporarily staying at the Oregon Zoo.

Oregon Zoo

The cubs were captured in a chicken coop and taken to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks service. They were emaciated. After two weeks under the care of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials they have filled in The male cup now weighs 37 pounds and the female weighs 32, according to Oregon Zoo officials.

The cubs were shipped to Oregon because no airport close to Missoula could ship a crate large enough for two cougars. Zoo and wildlife officials wanted to keep the two together during the trip because of their strong bond, so drove them from Montana to the Oregon Zoo.

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