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A new cat at Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo

This new zoo cat will live in the lap of luxury for years to come.
This new zoo cat will live in the lap of luxury for years to come.
Sue Pischke/HTR Media

A new baby cougar is about to make its debut in its new home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, after their 20-year old veteran cougar, Colleen, passed away a few weeks ago. The unnamed baby male arrived at 1215 North Eighth Street about a week ago and is resting inside his indoor cougar exhibit area.

The young fellow had quite a trip to get to the zoo. He was flown in from Washington State right about the time Colleen passed.

Colleen lived a good and long life in the Zoo. It is unusual for a cougar to live that long in captivity so it must be testament to the treatment that she received physically, mentally and emotionally. The new cougar should expect the same.

The little guy is about three-and-a-half months old and will remain in the indoor portion of the exhibit until which time he is ready for the outdoor exhibit area. Until that time, he will continue to work with Zookeeper Kathy Schema, getting himself prepared; learning his new environment and feeding routines.

This Saturday will mark the grand re-opening of the Zoo – from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The baby cougar will receive a lot of attention then and as he grows to maturity. Just this little fellow alone could increase attendance at the zoo as those working for the zoo are hoping to do.

Part of the expected fun will be to see who wins the naming contest for the baby cougar. The public is being encouraged to submit name suggestions on the Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoological Society Facebook page. Everyone is also encouraged to vote online or at the zoo for their favorite name for the young animal.

Part of the reason that animals do so well in zoo settings is because of the people there to care for the animals. Zoos are the closest thing to being able to care for an exotic pet correctly that a person can get. People that try to raise exotic pets in their home are not doing them any favors. In fact, they could be endangering the animal and putting themselves and others at risk.

Zoos on the other hand, take the time to learn about each individual animal. Take for instance the fact that Manitowoc personnel are seeking yet another cougar cub just so that this little fellow has a playmate and will not be lonely growing up alone.

Zoos help to preserve species of animals when they are in danger; there have been several instances when animals have been taken off of the endangered species list simply because of the time and care the animals receive in these locations.

Although this little man is not a domesticated cat, it will be fun to see how he grows up, his popularity aside. He deserves a good home and is about to grow up in one – how exciting for him!