Young cougar pair welcomed at Cape Breton wildlife park

·2 min read
Jamie Rose feeds raw chicken to Grumpy. Two Rivers park staff hope that with a bonded pair of cougars, they may one day see a litter of cubs.  (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)
Jamie Rose feeds raw chicken to Grumpy. Two Rivers park staff hope that with a bonded pair of cougars, they may one day see a litter of cubs. (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)

The newest attractions at Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Huntington, N.S., have long whiskers, sharp teeth and enjoy raw chicken.

Their names are Stumpy and Grumpy.

The park's resident cougar, Harley, had to move to Shubenacadie Wildlife Park to make way for the newcomers from a wildlife park and zoo in Ontario.

Park attendant Jamie Rose said looking after the pair of bonded cougars is more than twice the work.

"It's just paying a lot more attention now," she said. "[They are] pretty much like a big house cat, just more dangerous.

"We keep our distance from the enclosure when we're feeding. We do have a gate that we lock down to go into where we feed them at, and we double-check, make sure everything is locked before we let them in to eat."

Erin Pottie/CBC
Erin Pottie/CBC

The animals are young, around three years old, and were orphaned by their mothers. They had moved around a bit and needed a place with enough room to accommodate both.

Two Rivers administrator Haeley Langlois said Harley, who is 14, will be missed. She was the park's first cougar and spent nine years there.

"We couldn't have all three of them together here, so we made sure that Harley had the best place that she could go and she's not too far away," Langlois said.

Regular reports of cougars being spotted in the province might explain some of the attraction for having them at the park, she said.

"There's lots of sightings, per se, in Nova Scotia, but there's no real, hard proof that there is cougars in the wild in Nova Scotia, so people love to come and see the animals that we do have," she said.

Submitted by Haeley Langlois
Submitted by Haeley Langlois

Stumpy, the male, has shorter legs than his female roommate, who earned the name Grumpy based on her personality.

"Grumpy is a little cranky towards them when we're feeding them, but that's a normal girl thing, I think," said Rose.

Langlois added that Grumpy is loving, but "does have an attitude."

Erin Pottie/CBC
Erin Pottie/CBC

Staff hope the pair will make good parents.

"We're all hoping for that," said Rose. "It'll be a very exciting day if we find out that we have some babies in the spring."

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