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WSU Cougar not welcome at Woodland Park Zoo

They've got plenty of lions, tigers and bears at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. But a certain Cougar isn't welcome. (AP image)
They've got plenty of lions, tigers, and bears at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. But a certain Cougar isn't welcome.

The zoo is hosting nearly 600 Washington State University Global Campus online students and family members this Saturday for a special event. And the school has been told WSU mascot Butch T. Cougar isn't allowed.

Zoo spokesperson Gigi Allianic insists it has nothing to do with the fact she's a hard core Husky fan. It's simply because the real animals might get a little too fired up by Butch.

"It's always been a standard practice for Woodland Park Zoo to not permit mascots on grounds. We don't want to spook our animals," Allianic says. "Our animals are either predators or they're prey. So if they see this walking bear or tiger or cougar, you know it's fight or flight that could kick in."

If it's any consolation to Cougar fans, the Husky mascot isn't welcome at the zoo either. So the WSU faithful will have to settle for the real thing.

"We've got our baby giraffe who's out on exhibit now. And we also have Asian small-clawed otter pups that are just being introduced to their exhibit, so we'd like our visitors to enjoy the real animals," says Allianic.

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About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.

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