Orphan B.C. cougars move to Calgary Zoo
Two orphaned cougars from B.C. are settling in at the Calgary Zoo, which will be their permanent home.
The 14-month-old brother and sister were born in early 2009 in the Powell River area and spent several months at a wildlife shelter in Smithers, B.C.
The pair will spend the rest of their lives in a zoo because they would likely not survive on their own in the wild, said Dr. Sandie Black, head of veterinary services at the Calgary Zoo.
"B.C. does not allow the rehabilitation of orphan cougars back to the wild. The threat of a cougar being just a little too used to humans and having a little too low of a fear threshold with humans makes them potentially more of a danger if a human were to come upon them in the wild," Black explained.
The Calgary Zoo provides either temporary or permanent sanctuary for orphaned and injured animals that can't return to the wild.
The cougars will be on display to the public after a 30-day quarantine and after current upgrades to the zoo's cougar habitat are completed in six weeks.
A seven-month-old male cougar, orphaned in the Pincher Creek, Alta., area, is currently also being housed in the zoo's animal health centre.
The Calgary Zoo's last cougar, Sombra, had to be euthanized in December 2008 after she developed abdominal cancer. She had been at the facility for more than 16 years.