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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Life + Arts

1977: Baby Shasta arrives at UH

This week in history on Jan. 28, 1977, The Daily Cougar reported UH would welcome Shasta IV to the campus.

The cougar cub weighed 4 pounds and was flown into Houston on a private plane.

According to the University’s Athletics Web site, Shasta IV earned the nickname ‘Baby Shasta’ because she was two months old when she arrived at UH.

Animal trainer Dave Salisbury said Shasta IV ‘has a ferocious growl,’ but would require ‘additional love and training before she can appear at sporting events.’

Shasta IV stayed with a member of the Cougar Guard while additions to her cage in the Cougar Den, located next to Lynn Eusan Park, were completed.

From 1947-89, UH was represented by a live cougar mascot at events such as Homecoming and football games. Shasta I, the University’s first live cougar, was purchased by Alpha Phi Omega. She served as the University’s mascot from 1947- 62 the longest post of the five live mascots in UH history.

According to the UH athletics Web site, Shasta IV was retired in 1980 at the age of 3 because the Cougar Guard was unable to control her. The University has not had a live mascot since the death of Shasta V in 1989.

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