Four cougar kittens who lost everything — including their mothers and their freedom to roam in the wild — are now recovering from their various traumas, together, as a solid family unit.

 Snow and Storm were the first two cougar kittens to arrive at Minnesota's Wildcat Sanctuary.

"They had not seen a mom in days, so they believe the mother was shot, Thies said, adding that since the state of Washington doesn't allow for rehabilitation and release, the only other alternative the cats had was to find a forever home at a sanctuary — and that's how they ended up at Wildcat Sanctuary.

"The other two [cougars] came in a few months later," Thies said. Aspen and Blaze, who also hail from Washington, lost their mother after she was shot down for attacking a goat on a homeowner's property. Thies said the sanctuary decided to take the orphans in, with a plan to merge them with Snow and Storm

Over the course of many weeks, the cougars were given time to get used to one another in adjacent habitats with a shared wall between them. Then, an opening was provided, allowing the cougars to enter and interact in each other's habitats with the ability to retreat back to what was familiar for them, if needed.

Photos Via Facebook

Caretakers were present, carefully observing their interactions for days to make certain there wasn't any aggression or territorial behavior. But Thies said the cougars all took to one another right away — and now all live with each other in a single habitat.

Orphaned cougar kittens get to know each other
UPDATE: Here's a view of a small portion of the temporary habitat Blaze and Aspen are in next to Snow and Storm. If you watch closely, you'll see them at their shared wall. We let them spend a lot of time getting used to each other as next door neighbors before they are introduced to live together. We'll keep you posted on how things are progressing. Visit our website to read their stories here:
Posted by Wildcat Sanctuary on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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