Orphaned cougar cubs find new home at Texas Zoo, to be University of Houston mascots

Texas, meet Shasta VII and Louie 🐾

Two orphaned cougar cubs that were found by a rancher in Washington have settled into a new home in Houston. The male cubs, named Shasta VII and Louie, were taken to the Houston Zoo and will be ambassadors for the University of Houston, according to a news release from the zoo.

Two orphaned cougar cubs that a rancher found in Washington have settled into a new home in Texas.

The 8-week-old male cubs, named Shasta VII and Louie, were taken to the Houston Zoo and will be ambassadors for the University of Houston Cougars, according to a news release from the zoo.

See a video of them in their new home in the player above.

The zoo said the rancher found them on his property in late October when they were four weeks old. The Washington State Fish & Wildlife Services contacted the Houston Zoo and flew them to Texas within days.

The cubs likely would not have survived on their own, the zoo said.

“The cubs will remain behind the scenes as they get comfortable with their caregivers,” the release states.

The cougars will soon get their spot in the limelight, though, as they will be part of the University of Houston’s ambassador program. Shasta VII will be the live mascot for the university, following the death of Shasta VI in August.

“Shasta has shown himself to be the leader of the two by being protective of his smaller brother and being the calmer, more confident cub. Shasta often sleeps or rests with a paw over Louie.

After the cubs are acclimated to their new home, the public will be able to meet them.

The zoo said cougars Shasta VI and Haley had to be euthanized due to their declining health from spinal and kidney illnesses.

“The Houston Zoo is committed to providing the best possible welfare for the animals in their care from birth to death,” the release states. “Haley and Shasta VI will be remembered while the new additions are celebrated.”

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.