WNC Nature Center cougar passes away

Pisgah the cougar


ASHEVILLE – It is with great sadness that the WNC Nature Center announces the passing of one of its most well-known and cherished residents.


Pisgah, an 8-year-old Western cougar, passed away on Thursday morning (Sept. 27) 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.”


Asheville’s 42-acre WNC Nature Center is home to over 60 species of animals, including river otters, black bears, red and gray wolves and cougars. Its mission is to connect people with the animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity.  The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


For more information about the WNC Nature Center, visit WNCNatureCenter.com.