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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON (aka Cougar Mountain Zoo)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: The Cougar Mountain Zoo and Zoological Society of Washington are dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of the earth’s wildlife and the role of humanity in nature through education, research, captive breeding, conservation, exhibition and recreation.

Results: The zoo has been expanding since 2005, opening new exhibits such as the Magic Forest and the World of Macaws. We have also added more educational programs to our facility, increased our endangered species number to help bring forth awareness of their plight and are working on raising funds for a new cheetah conservation facility.

Target demographics: to help the local community learn about animals and the natural world

Geographic areas served: Pacific Northwest

Programs: mini lectures throughout the day, skilled docents available at all times to answer questions, outreach programs to schools, churches, senior centers, community gatherings and guided group tours.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I wanted to write a review for a very special place, Cougar Mountain Zoo. We really can't say enough about this beautiful and serene place. We first visited the zoo 4 years ago when we found out they had 2 new baby tiger cubs. We went to the first showing of Bagheera and Vitez, 2 Bengal brothers thinking we will see how it goes. Prior to this visit we had not been to a zoo for 30 years having had sad experiences in the past. We enjoyed our day at Cougar Mountain Zoo so much so that we have been going at least weekly since our very first visit. We were so impressed with how beautiful and happy the animals are, how well educated and truly compassionate the zoo staff are that we have brought many friends to the zoo to experience it and many are now members. We love this zoo and what they are doing with education and conservation for the public. The grounds are well kept as are the habitats and the animals receive great enrichment and are obviously very loved and are happy. We highly recommend this zoo to children and adults alike and we will continue to bring people to the zoo to experience this wonderful place. We also want to acknowledge and thank Robyn Barfoot, General Curator of the zoo, for sharing her passion and knowledge with all of us. Thank you, Thank you Thank you! Debra, David and Marge

1 Jessica121

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Most of the big name zoos will have at least a few animals that (I believe) suffer from boredom and run a very specific path day in and out. None of the animals that I've seen at CMZ behave this way. And being so close to the tigers is awesome and frightening at the same time. I loved hand feeding the llamas too!

Stephanie98

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While I live in Southern California I have been to CMZ at least a dozen times and absolutely LOVE it. It is VERY obvious the animals are loved and are treated very well by Robyn and all the staff. I've never been anywhere that you can be so close to the cats and have loved seeing some of them "grow up". If I lived in the area, I would definately become a member! It's clean, fun, and everyone there treats you as a guest.

Donna98

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was so excited to find a zoo so close to home. The first thing I noticed is how clean each animal enclosure is. The workers/volunteers are friendly and very helpful. All the animals are happy and relaxed. It is a small zoo, but there is a lot to see and it is very educational. I love tigers and so I was thrilled to be able to get so close to one. The animal tracks section is very interesting and I spent quite a while reading all the different animal foot prints.

They just opened the extended Macaw section and it is very nice as well and it is open and well set up for viewing as well as keeping the birds happy.

I enjoyed my visit so much I got a yearly pass so I can go whenever I want.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It was a wonderful experience. I had always love cats and being close to the tigers was so cool. My favorite part was the tunnel. I took lot of pictures, good thing they were not camera shy. I highly recommend the place. The staffs were nice and really friendly. The zoo is clean and very well kept. Thanks to all hard working people of Cougar Mountain Zoo. Cant wait for the cheetahs to come.

Tracy43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What do I love about this zoo? For a start, you can see that each and every animal in their care is loved. Simply walk with Robyn, the Curator of the zoo, and watch the Bengal Tigers start to chuff happily in greeting. In fact, all the staff are knowledgeable about the animals in their care and with smiles, greet you and provide interesting information. It's a small zoo but one that you can visit multiple times because there is always something new to learn and see. A total treasure in Issaquah!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have been several times. Upon entering you are greeted by the Cougar enclosure. The first of many things we love about CMZ. Each exhibit has lots of cool facts about the animals. Our next stop is the the two Bengal Tiger exhibits each housing a pair of the majestic big cats. My son's favorite is the Ringtail Lemurs who often greet us with loud chatter as we enter the Magic Forest. We always make sure to buy apples to feed the Alpacas, Reindeer, Wallabies and Emus. Now I can't wait until we can go again.

Gary R.

Donor

Rating: 5

Cougar Mountain Zoo is the best period!!! No other zoo can you get that close to the animals. The tiger tunnel is amazing! The staff and volunteers are amazing and very deserving of recognition for their work.

1 Wendy67

Donor

Rating: 5

We live in Issaquah and are lifetime members of Cougar Mountain Zoo. We have introduced our visiting family and friends, and many local friends to the wonders of our fabulous Zoo. The animals are so close and have such personalities, they recognize you when you come often enough. The keepers and the staff become friends, the whole experience is warm and feels like your own private zoo at times.

The animal walks, shows and events keep everything fresh and new. Being nonprofit, we all try to work together to bring new animals or exhibits into existence. Become a member or a donor and support the wonderful educational work and a local institution.

1 Anthony31

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Had the opportunity to visit the Zoo with dear friends on March 17th 2013. We were treated to access to the Tiger tunnel & personal guide. Robin Barfoot was so great and passionate about the Zoo and the cats. It was a great experience to be that up-close and personal with these magnificent creatures. A great place for learning & just spending the day. Highly recommend this Zoo. A hidden gem in the midst of the big city. Keep up the great work!!

Stefan W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Cougar Mountain Zoo is a treasure in our little town of Issaquah! It is beautifully manicured and well-maintained. The enclosures are beautiful. The staff are extremely caring and interactive with the public, and most of all, the animals are healthy and happy! Among Reindeer and Emu and Parrots and Cranes, they have Tigers and Cougars and Lemurs (some of my absolute favorites), so it's like having these wonderful animals in my backyard because they are so close by. I love this Zoo!
If you haven't gone yet, go, you will love it.