Did you know there’s a zoo in Issaquah? No, I’m not kidding. I’ve seen the “ZOO” signs while driving down the road a few times, and I even ran into a volunteer once around town. I never really thought it would be worth checking out, but I was wrong. Cougar Mountain Zoo is really cool.
Cougar Mountain Zoo (19525 SE 54th St. in Issaquah) is much smaller than Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, but it’s still packed with incredible animals. Listed as only eight acres, Cougar Mountain Zoo is home to cougars, tigers, lemurs, wallabies and several species of birds. There are also deer, alpaca and reindeer that you can feed at anytime throughout the day (all you need is 50-cents for a handful of food).
Cougar Mountain Zoo is unique because you can get so close to the animals, including the cougars and tigers. You can literally stare the creatures in the eye from just a few feet away. That right there is worth the price of admission to me. The cost is $11.50 for adults (13+) and $9 for children (2-12).
Just to show you how close you can get to the animals, click here (or at the top of the post) for a video I captured of the tigers pacing in their cage at Cougar Mountain Zoo. There’s no zoom — that’s really as close as they are.
On top of all the real animals, Cougar Mountain Zoo boasts the world’s largest collection of bronze animal zoo art. According to their website, the bronze statues “promote the cause of wild animals through the international language of art.” There’s also the world’s only animal tracks library, plus mini lectures, demonstrations and much more at Cougar Mountain Zoo. That means this isn’t just a ho-hum zoo with a couple of animals thrown in cages; Cougar Mountain Zoo is legit. There are even zoo keepers and volunteers on hand who are more than willing to answer any questions you have. It’s a great learning experience for everyone.
Before you head out the door, you should know that Cougar Mountain Zoo only operates Wednesday-Sunday from 9:30am-5pm during the months of January-November. There are different times in December for the Issaquah Reindeer Festival (which is awesome, too!).
Have you visited Cougar Mountain Zoo? How was your experience there? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun places to check out around the Emerald City.