CINCINNATI (July 28, 2011) – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s newest exhibit featuring Cougars is set to open to the public Thursday, August 4. The special exhibit, which is located just outside of the Zoo’s new attraction – Night Hunters – will be home to the Zoo’s two young Cougars, “Tecumseh” and “Joseph,” born September 19, 2010.
The new exhibit will allow visitors to see these amazing animals, up close and personal. The spacious display will depict the rocky habitats that cougars utilize in the wild, giving the brothers the opportunity to climb rocks and trees in addition to playing in a waterfall and splashing in a pool – which is one of their favorite pastimes – especially in these hot summer months!
Cincinnati Zoo trainers have been working with the brothers since they were eight weeks old, training them to use the new exhibit space to highlight their amazing natural abilities like stalking their prey and jumping large distances. Special demonstrations are planned at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily, except Mondays and Thursdays, through Labor Day.
Also known as a Mountain Lion, Puma, or Panther, the cougar is the largest of the small cats. The World Conservation Union currently lists the cougar as “least concern” species. In the United States east of the Mississippi River, the only unequivocally known cougar population is the Florida panther. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service recognize both an Eastern cougar and the Florida panther, affording protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The completion of the new cougar exhibit has the Cincinnati Zoo one step closer to finalizing its larger Cat Canyon project. Cat Canyon will connect Night Hunters and cougars to a renovated tiger canyon, allowing visitors to see big cats as they have never seen them before. The final phase of the Cat-Canyon project will break ground next month and is scheduled to be open summer 2012.