Outdoors blog

Mountain lion kitten’s captivity serves a purpose

Dr. Jocelyn Woodd removes holds a 3-week-old cougar kitten at the Mt. Spokane Veterinary Hospital. (Colin Mulvany)
Dr. Jocelyn Woodd removes holds a 3-week-old cougar kitten at the Mt. Spokane Veterinary Hospital. (Colin Mulvany)

WILDLIFE -- A three-week-old mountain lion kitten orphaned in northeastern Washington is headed for a zoo, and that's not all bad, state Fish and Wildlife Department officials say.

 “Education is important at American Zoological Association-accredited zoos, which have on-site staff to teach visitors about the natural history of these critters,” said department cougar specialist Rich Beausoleil.

He said the kitten will be transported to ZooAmerica in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which has a reputation for good, natural facilities and education.

The kitten found this week in the Kettle Falls area will join the other 32 cougar kittens from Washington that have been rescued over the past 12 years and placed to live out captive lives.

But think of it this way.   These mountain lions are in facilities in urban areas where they’re seen each year by a total of 17 million people.

“These are people who get a chance to learn something about a critter they’d never otherwise see,” said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman in Spokane.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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