The Houston Zoo’s two new cougar cubs, Shasta VII and Louie, are participating in the long-held tradition of guarding the rings of University of Houston graduates. The 11-week-old cubs are continuing to reside behind-the-scenes as they finish quarantine and grow, the duo officially began their duties as representatives of the University of Houston by guarding two rings on Dec. 1. Shasta VII and Louie were curious about the ring boxes and their keepers encouraged the exploration of the novel items by hiding meatballs amongst the hay and climbing logs.
On Friday, Dec. 9, all rings for the fall 2022 ring recipients will be placed in UH-themed boxes, which will be in the empty cougar habitat all day. University of Houston students and guests can view the class rings on display and take photos in front of the habitat. Current University of Houston students receive free daytime general Zoo admission (with a valid ID) all year long. Students must reserve a ticket ahead of time online before visiting the Zoo.
The two cougar cubs were found alone in Washington state and moved to the Houston Zoo in early November. The Zoo was contacted by the Washington State Fish & Wildlife Services when a rancher found two orphaned male cubs on his property. At an estimated four weeks old when found in late October, it was unlikely the cubs would have survived on their own. Within days, the duo flew to the Lone Star State and are settling into life at the Houston Zoo.