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Construction is in progress around our barn. During this time, our barnyard animals will be interacting with new habitats inside and outside of the barn and receiving daily enrichment. Please bear with us while we make improvements for our animals and guests!
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Cherished Cougar Resident, Pisgah, Passes


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of our most well-known and cherished residents.

Pisgah, an 8-year-old Western cougar, passed away on Thursday morning (September 27, 2018) after a period of declining health.  Diagnosed with kidney failure several years ago, the disease had recently progressed and was no longer responding to treatment by Nature Center health care staff.

Pisgah was one of two cougars that came to the Nature Center after being rescued in Grants Pass, Oregon. They joined the Nature Center family in May 2011 and were named through a community contest.

“We received Pisgah and his brother Mitchell as very young cubs from the Oregon Zoo in Portland.  They have been a joy to watch as they grew to adulthood. It is a sad day for us here at the Nature Center.” said WNC Nature Center Director Chris Gentile.  “Despite his prognosis, our dedicated staff worked tirelessly to make him comfortable, especially these past few weeks as his health rapidly declined.   He will be missed by not only our team but the entire community.”

UPDATE (October 29, 2018) : In just one month’s time, Mitchell, Pisgah’s brother at the WNC Nature Center, is settling in to being on his own. His caretakers are keeping a close eye on him and say he is doing well.

In the wild, cougars live on their own. Mitchell’s caretakers foresee him successfully transitioning to a single cat mindset and lifestyle.

To help Mitchell adjust, the Friends of the WNC Nature Center crowdfunded a weeble enrichment item for him. This weeble is specifically made for large animals like Mitchell. It teeters and totters but doesn’t fall over. The weeble will add a wonderful enrichment item to Mitchell’s habitat at the WNC Nature Center. Thank you for supporting Mitchell!

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