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Houston's Cougar Town claim: New Houston Zoo exhibit hardly the only place to catch creatures on the prowl

Houston's Cougar Town claim: New Houston Zoo exhibit hardly the only place to catch creatures on the prowl

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Cougars are everywhere! Courtesy of Houston Zoo
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The Den www.uhdenbar.com
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New cougar den at the Houston Zoo Courtesy of Houston Zoo
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Eddie V's at West Ave Photo by Daniel Ortiz
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Move over, Courteney Cox, because Houston is the real Cougar Town.

According to the Houston Zoo, "Agile and graceful, cougars once roamed throughout most of the lower 48 United States. Today, cougars are found in Florida and 14 western states including Texas." Yes, Texas. Like you didn't already know that.

With the natural habitat of North American cougars on the decline, the Houston Zoo has created a new and improved habitat for its resident cougars, Rocky and Haley. A viewing area designed "to replicate an old abandoned mine shaft entrance" gives zoo visitors the chance to observe cougars in a native habitat from ground level and from below, with only a pane of safety glass between them.

But how does the new exhibit stack up to the other hotspots to view — and even interact with — cougars around town? Let's compare:

Houston Zoo Cougar Exhibit

There's an emphasis on indoor/outdoor landscaping, with plenty of opportunities to climb, which should indulge the cougar preference for sun and mild exercise. But although the zoo cougars have the requisite age disparity (Rocky is 15, while Haley isn't even 3 yet), can cougars ever be truly at home when they aren't out on the prowl?

Eddie V's

Eddie V's in West Ave has the newest and classiest cougar den in town, in the elevated lounge seating in the bar area — it's perfect for private dance parties and sneaking up on their prey, who prefer a seat at the bar to catch the game.

The Den Campus Pub

This den is named after another kind of Houston cougar — you know, the UH kind — so expect plenty of Lone Star, Jagerbombs, and Long Island iced teas. But you could also find some cougars of the female variety here, if they are willing to head to the Third Ward to shoot some fish in a barrel.

Zimm's Martini Bar

Martinis and cougars go together like peanut butter and jelly, if jelly made peanut butter more likely to get a little handsy. Add candlelight and comfy couches and you might as well call it mating season.

Central Market

Don't let the classy groceries confuse you: Central Market is a meat market, and I'm not talking about Kobe beef. While the typical Central Market MILF perusing the Riesling might like a gent with her sophisticated tastes, there're bound to be a few who just want someone to carry the bags and appreciate the cooking.