Telling Them Apart Ares, Artemis, and Orion affectionately known as "the Cubs"

Telling Them Apart Ares Artemis Orion

Ares, Orion, & Artemis are cougar siblings whose mother was killed by a hunter back in 2005 so they came here as cubs.  Even though they are now 11 1/2 years old the nickname “The Cubs” has stuck when referring to the three siblings as a group.

A mother mountain lion had been shot by a hunter leaving her three newborn kittens orphans. A rehabber had been given temporary custody of three cougar cubs by Idaho’s Fish and Game Department and three weeks to find them a home in a zoo or to euthanize them. The idea of these magnificent creatures ending up in a zoo where they would be bred for generation after generation of imprisoned animals was more than she could bear.

She visited our web site and was asking herself if death might be more humane than life in a cage but before she made such a decision she contacted Big Cat Rescue. After more than twenty years in her business of rescuing, rehabbing and releasing native wildlife she was no stranger to tough choices, but this one was particularly hard. Because Idaho does not allow big cats to be rehabbed and released they could never go free. If the choice was made for them to live in an accredited facility then how would their sacrifice (life in a cage) be used to stop their kind from enduring persecution by man?

In the end it was decided that the cubs would come to Big Cat Rescue because we can make their story known. Our supporters are active in trying to change the laws that allow animal suffering. These three little orphans are symbolic of why we write letters, donate our time and do all that we do. Visit the page called Cat Laws to help.

The three share a 3600+ sq. ft. enclosure.  The enclosure is split up into multiple sections so we can separate them at feeding time etc.  The reason we separate cats at feeding time is so no one is intimidated, no one has to fight for food, and we know how much each cat ate.

These three have lost some weight recently so they are not getting the normal big breakfast but are also getting a second meal later in the day.  these three are so active they need a second meal to maintain their body weight.

Meet “The Cubs”

Ares:  Ares has freckles on his nose. Ares is the laid back mellow sibling. He likes to hang back and relax while his brother and sister wreak havoc. Ares has the loudest purr of the three cubs. His purring is so intense, his whole body shakes when he purrs! Ares also likes to play with the palmetto stumps in his enclosure and will often rip them out of the ground so he can shred them and bat them around his Cat.a.tat.

Orion:   Orion is the goofy one in the group, he is always up to something and puts a smile on our faces with his silly antics. The three cubs can be hard to tell apart at times, but if you look in their eyes, you will be able to pick out his mischievous gaze and know right away which one is Orion. Orion loves dinner time and can change abruptly from cute goofball to serious cougar with an appetite. Orion also loves to climb the trees in his enclosures and is constantly testing the limits of the tinier branches.

Artemis:  Artemis is the serious sister and the more aloof of the three cubs. She is very sweet and loves her brothers, but she tends to be a bit of a loner at times. Artemis also goes by the nickname of “Baby” among the Keeper Volunteers.  She can be very shy but she can also wreak havoc with her brother Orion.

How to Tell “The Cubs” Apart


  • Tallest of the three
  • More rounded eyes then Ares
  • Longer Muzzle than Artemis



  • Largest weight-wise of the three
  • Has white stripes across his back ankles
  • Has freckles



  • Smaller than the boys
  • Rounded eyes
  • Shorter muzzle
  • Browner on the top of her head

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