By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone is now home to three 4-month-old cougar cub siblings.

The two brothers and a sister were orphaned in Washington state and found living under someone’s home. Washington Game and Fish had 48 hours to find them a permanent home, or they would be euthanized by state law.

“At that moment, the clock started ticking and it was a race for time to get them here to Minnesota,” Wildcat Sanctuary executive director Tammy Thies said.

(credit: CBS)

Veterinarians examined the sibling cubs Tuesday for illnesses and injuries, and also spayed and neutered them. They will be quarantined indoors while they heal, and then will join 10 other cougars outside in the free-roaming spaces at the sanctuary in early spring. Thies says they love the climate here.

“Snow, trees, the four seasons … they’re going to really enjoy what Minnesota has to offer them,” Thies said.

At 4 months old, these cubs weigh just under 40 pounds — but at full size they will be around 150 pounds. Thies says these cubs would not be able to survive the wild without their mom.

“They would be with mom up to two years old, learning to hunt, to defend their own territory,” Thies said. “To see them and know that we saved them from a worse fate, we’re thrilled to do that and to see them grow up for the next 15 to 20 years will be an amazing experience.”

They want the public to help name the three cubs. Submissions can be made on their Facebook page. They will decide on the winners next week.

Marielle Mohs