TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo family just got a little bigger.
The Zoo is now home to three female cougar cubs who were orphaned by human-wildlife conflict.
The cougar cubs, also called pumas or mountain lions, came to the zoo after the state of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife reached out to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to find the cubs a home after they lost their mothers.
"The Toledo Zoo is proud to provide a home to these orphaned cougar cubs. As part of our own mission and that of AZA, we always try to meet the needs of wildlife officials in placing orphaned native species. These cubs will not only provide a tangible connection to human-wildlife conflict, but also give Zoo guests the privilege of watching an elusive and often villainized feline species grow and develop," said Jeff Sailer, executive director of the Toledo Zoo.
Cougars are found in North and South America, and while not endangered, some populations are extremely threatened, according to the Zoo. Cougars have been eradicated from Ohio.
The oldest cub is estimated to be ten to 12 weeks old and weighs ten pounds. The younger two are approximately three weeks old and weigh three and a half pounds.
The younger cubs were part of a litter of four. Their siblings now reside in a zoo in New Jersey.
The younger cubs can be viewed by the public during veterinarian-supervised bottled feedings each day.
"Viewing the bottle feedings is a particularly unique opportunity most outside of the Zoo field would never experience. We hope visitors will enjoy watching these cubs grow and explore while also gaining an appreciation for the importance of avoiding human-wildlife conflict for the conservation of many incredible species, including cougars," said Shayla Bell Moriarty, director of communication for the Zoo
The feedings are set to be at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. near the indoor viewing of elephants in Tembo Trail. The times and availability may vary.
Visit here for additional times and/or schedule changes.