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The manifestation of their deep devotion to all creatures large and small, the Cougar Mountain Zoo was founded by Peter and Marcie Rittler in 1972.The fledging Zoo’s initial collection was comprised of 53 specimens of exotic and domestic birds, mammals and reptiles. During the first fifteen years of operation admission was offered free to the general public and area school children. In 1987 the Zoological Society of Washington, a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization, became the fundraising arm of the Zoo. The Cougar Mountain Zoo has grown into one of the major institutions in the State in the field of wildlife conservation and education. With the passing of years the story thus unfolds to the present day.

The following quotes have been selected in dedication to the natural world and represent ideology professed by the Cougar Mountain Zoo since its inception:

“The preservation of the earth’s vanishing wildlife is an extraordinary cause, requiring
extraordinary effort by extraordinary people.”
“The earth’s wildlife as we know it today can only be saved through intensifying the teaching of individuals and nations the practical, aesthetic and emotional values wildlife represents in our daily lives and
for future generations to come.”
“It is ironic how we stretch our imagination and seek extraterrestrial life forms with unique qualities in the dark vastness of space, when in essence they are amongst us in the light of the day.
Those mysterious life forms that we call animals.”
“No Wild Animal belongs in captivity. Zoo Animals are instruments of the educational process representing
that last and vital frontier through which their Wild Brethren may be saved from Extinction.”
Quotes by Peter A. Rittler
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