Kevin Charles

Meet UH Mascot Shasta VI At The Houston Zoo!

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Photo: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Cicely C. Mitchell

The Houston Zoo houses some of the most exotic, rare and captivating animals in the world and sometimes those animals serve as an ambassador for their counterparts in the wild. With the recent partnership between the University of Houston Alumni Association and the Houston Zoo, one of those exotic rare and captivating animals will be the face for the University of Houston.

Photo: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Shasta VI is a young male cougar living in the Zoo’s recently renovated cougar exhibit and now holds the title of the official live mascot for the University of Houston. In his new role, Shasta VI will make live appearances during University of Houston events via webcam from the Houston Zoo and will proudly stand within the cougar exhibit before the annual class ring ceremony.

Photo: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

On Saturday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. the Houston Zoo, University of Houston President Renu Khator, University of Houston Alumni Association President and CEO Michael Pede and UH alumni will be on hand when Shasta VI makes his official debut. For the University of Houston, it’s all about “Cougar Pride” and Shasta VI is the perfect ambassador from the animal kingdom to represent all that UH pride embodies. During the festivities on the 24th of March, the day will include morning activities, crafts for children, the unveiling of a new cougar exhibit sign recognizing Shasta VI’s connection to the university, a special Meet the Keeper Talk introducing Shasta VI as the official live mascot of the University of Houston and other special events.

Photo: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Shasta VI’s life has not always been one filled with wonderfully enthralling moments in the wild. His mother was shot by a hunter, leaving Shasta and his two brothers orphans. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stepped in after a good Samaritan was able to save one of the cubs and then a search for Shasta VI and his brother began.
The second brother was found, but Shasta had not been recovered so a plan was devised. Resting in the knowledge that cougars make a “chirping” sound in order to connect with fellow cougars, a biologist helping with the rescue imitated this”‘chirp” and was elated to hear a chirp in response. It was then that Shasta VI was safe although he was visibly hungry and tired. Shasta VI was then transported to the Houston Zoo where he now lives in safely and comfortably ready to explore his surroundings and entertain, entice and enlighten Houston Zoo guests.

For more information about the meeting of Shasta VI on March 24th and to find out other events that are taking place at the Houston Zoo, CLICK HERE to be connected with the Houston Zoo’s website!

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