Operated by the Washington Zoological Society, Cougar Mountain Zoological Park is dedicated to the care of threatened and ... More
Cougar Mountain Zoological Park
Operated by the Washington Zoological Society, Cougar Mountain Zoological Park is dedicated to the care of threatened and endangered species. You will find many unique creatures here, including the Formosa Sika, the Red-ruffed Lemur and the Hawaiian Nene Goose. You'll see the Cougar, after which the zoo is named. General admission hours are limited, but lectures, outreach programs and camps all occur outside regular hours. Call or check website for details.
We needed a place to take our parents & kids that didn't involve a long car ride. The lemurs made us laugh, the birds were close enough to see details & some you can interact with, the reindeer (we're coming back at Christmas!), the tigers - "cool!" The educational portion of the zoo got our eldest child (9 yrs) & grandparents interacting, the grounds were clean, the artwork & bronze statuary appealed to the artists in the family. It is a small zoo, but is a very nice way to spend time & seemed to have something of interest for everyone in our family.
This zoo is over the top when it comes to wanting money. Everything is an additional price. To see the tigers, a star attraction, you must pay an additional fee. Pay 2 dollars for a dixie cup of apples! And while you try to enjoy the zoo, people are trying to sell you a brick or sell something. I felt assalted and violated and in complete sympathy for the poor animals that have no choice but to call this place home!!!!!
I didn't know that in the month of December they hide most of the animals and concentrate on Santa and the reindeer so my $12 was too much to pay to see a handful of animals. Also, the website says they try to do an unprecedented job of giving every visitor as much personal attention as possible and maybe some people don't look to a zoo for that. I felt watched and pounced upon by very cheery staff people when I just wanted to walk around by myself. The lady at the snack stand highly recommended the cookies but I think the one I bought was about a year old. It could have been a hockey puck. Try to bend the cookie in its wrapper before you spend the $2.00... Also, the areas for the animals are small so make sure you go when you're feeling upbeat.
Cougar Mountain Zoo may be a little small compared to the Puget Sounds other zoos (Point Defiance, Woodland Park, and Northwest Trek). However, as an experienced zoo-goer, I believe this is one of the nicest Zoos under 15 acres in the country. The grounds and architecture are beautiful and clean, the atmosphere is superb, and the employees are both friendly and knowledgable.
The exhibits themselves are well put together. The cougar exhibits gets you CLOSE to the Cougars (as long as the cats are cooperating), the Reindeer herd is large, the Macaw row allows for close contact with the birds and the cranes are some of the most beautiful in the world. My personal favorites, the Lemurs, are apparently in temporary exhibits but are fun nonetheless. The Wallabies were a little shy, but that is certainly not the Zoo's fault. Plus, we were able to view a rare Formosan Elk, according to the zookeeper, one of approximately 150 left in the world. Feeding the Alpaca was another highlight of the trip.
The only thing I would recommend for improvement would be to have more. More animals, more exhibits. What they have done, they've done well, and I would love to see even more from this Zoo. You're able to spend 2-3 hours there if you take your time, a nice afternoon trip, but certainly not an all day Zoo like the others in the region. The price of admission is comperable to other Zoos of this size, and well worth the experience.
This zoo had a well-designed cougar exhibit and a nice collection of beautiful birds. There are also llamas along with other hooved, and a set of lemur cages. The lemurs though, occasionally screamed, which frightened the children.
If you're looking for a different zoo to spend your 10 dollars per person, visit the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle which is a much larger place and will keep you and your family for a day. It's only a 50-minute drive from Cougar Mountain, if you're willing to go farther for a nice zoo.
Otherwise, Cougar Mountain Zoo is a good place to visit if you live around the neighborhood and are looking for a nearby place to take your kids to see some animals.
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