Ever since the now iconic image of a cougar reclining on the Welcome to Hinton sign surfaced years ago, the cougar has been an unofficial mascot for our community. Atha-Cat, a costumed mascot available for sign out for community events, is often seen about in the area, but there hasn't ever been a real presence of cougars in the community, save when the felines visit some neighbourhoods in search of easy meals.
Roy Looks to Make it Official
But in 2014, local resident and craftsman Roger Roy pitched the idea of making it official with a statue in a public space. Roy searched out options for the cougar, considering many factors, including material. The best option, and most fitting considering Hinton's long standing ties to the timber industry, was a wood carving. And one of the best purveyors of such carvings is Pioneer Log Homes, also known as "the Timber Kings". Pioneer is well known to many Canadians, thanks to their Timber and Carver Kings Programs, which air on HGTV.
Cougar Relaxing on ToH Sign
Installation of the Cougar
Hinton's Cougar Statue was installed the morning of Thursday, October 27, 2016. Attended by members of Hinton Town Council, Administration, local MLA Eric Rosendahl and his staff, as well as numerous community members, the arrival of the cougar was a spectacle, and filmed on location for a future episode of the Timber Kings.