Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens & Announce the Name of New Cougar

The Central Florida & Botanical Gardens, in partnership with WESH 2, announces the results of the Name the New Cougar contest.  From the nearly 1,100 viewer responses, Boone, meaning blessing, was the number one selection with 44 percent of the votes.  The other choices included Tohon, meaning cougar in the Native American language, Shoshone, the name of a Native American tribe in Oregon, and Gosheven, meaning great leaper in the Native American language, came in at 32, 13 and 10 percent respectively. conducted the online survey via their website from March 22 until April 17. 


The Zoo received the young male cougar on Tuesday, Feb 15 and was estimated to be around 8 months old.  The cougar came to the Zoo from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the transfer was handled through the AZA Puma PMP coordinator.  The Zoo believes this cougar is wild born and was found by the general public and given to a cat facility in Oregon, who in turn relinquished the cat to ODFW. 


“We are very pleased with the responses we received from all the viewers,” said Bonnie Breitbeil, Director of Animal Services. “Boone is a perfect name for our cougar and we invite everyone who participated in his naming to visit the Zoo.”


“With its rich history that spans many decades, The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a classic Florida attraction.  We enjoyed partnering with them on to help name their new baby cougar "Boone" and look forward to more projects like this in the future,” said Gabe Travers, Digital Media Manager for WESH.


“We would like to thank our partner, for assisting us with this contest” said Joe Montisano, CEO of the Central Florida Zoo. “ has been a great partner in many of the naming opportunities that arise at the Zoo.”