Austin Zoo animals get holiday treat

The animals at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary are still celebrating Christmas.

Donations provided special treats for all of the animals at the zoo on New Year's Day.

"Instead of shredding all the trees that they had at Trail of Lights, they donated a bunch of them to us," said Ellen Proctor, director of animal care at the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary. 

The animals get a chance to sink their teeth into something a little different.

"It's a fun, new toy, a seasonal toy we can offer to the animals. You don't see Christmas trees year round, so it's just a different scent and a different thing to chew on and interact with for them," Proctor said. 

One group of animals won't get a tree this year.

"We've got three juvenile cougar cubs. They've been going out to the public for just a few days now. They are about three and a half months old. Their birthday is September 10 and they are growing up here at the zoo," Proctor said. 

The cubs were orphaned when they were just a few weeks old.

"A hunter shot their mom before he realized she had any cubs with her," said Proctor. 

Now the cubs are getting plenty of attention regardless of the holiday season.

"We're able to provide a permanent home for them. So we've been bottle feeding them. We've had them since October. Keeping them quarantined, getting them all their shots, we've been bottle feeding them, then weening them onto real meat and now they're out every day, depending on the day, different times where the public can come and enjoy them and watch them grow up and frolic and romp," said Proctor.

The cubs are three of several animals rescued by the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary.

"We love this zoo because most of the animals are rescues and some zoos make me a little sad because I wish they were in the wild, but this one, I feel like, they're doing better than they were in their previous home wherever that was," said Wendy Morse who was visiting the zoo with her family Friday. 

"We don't do any breeding. We don't buy, we don't sell, all the animals that are with us are here for the rest of our lives," Proctor said.  

To find out the hours the cougar cubs are able to be seen by the public look on the Austin Zoo's Facebook page.


Back in October FOX 7 was there when the baby cubs arrived.

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