Asheboro, NC — Three cougar kittens rescued after losing their mother to an  Oregon hunter on Monday began the introduction process to their exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo. But initially they will only be on public view for short periods.

The three-month-old kittens arrived at the N.C. Zoo in early March and went through a 30-day quarantine required of all new animals arriving at the zoo. They had been rescued in January and raised by the Oregon Zoo in Portland until weaned and mature enough to be transferred.  Members of LightHawk, a group of pilots who volunteer their time and aircraft to conservation efforts, flew the young cougars to North Carolina.

Keepers on Monday began introducing the kittens to the Cougar Exhibit in the zoo’s Cypress Swamp habitat. But the early process will be gradual and the cougars will on be on exhibit for short periods. A short video of the kittens first day is available at the following link:

 The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.