There’s another mountain lion rescue and hopeful recovery underway at the Oakland Zoo, as a young mountain lion cub found abandoned in freezing temperatures is recovering at the zoo from hypothermia.
When a mountain lion ends up at the Oakland Zoo, it usually means that mountain lion just experienced some very unfortunate circumstances. That zoo has taken in and cared for mountain lions who suffered burns in wildfires or got caught on the wrong end of “officer-involved shootings,” as the Oakland Zoo has a veterinary care team that specializes in mountain lion medicine and recovery. And they’ve got another precarious case on their hands, as KTVU reports they’re caring for an abandoned mountain lion cub suffering from hypothermia.
You may recall that in last week’s cold snap, there were near-freezing temperatures in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And during that cold snap, Monterey’s KION reported that a Santa Cruz homeowner found an abandoned mountain lion cub (seen above) “under her home's deck.” The homeowner waited for the cub’s mother to return, which never happened, at which point they called in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for help.
And that department had the cub transported to the Oakland Zoo. “Last night California Department of Fish and Wildlife brought a small, weak, emaciated female mountain lion cub to our vet hospital,” the zoo says in a Facebook post. “She is estimated to be 3-4 months old and critically ill. We treated her with fluids, vitamins, anti-nausea medication, and anti-parasitics. Our vet staff named her ‘Holly’ in honor of the holidays. We prepared a toasty warm room for her in the hospital ward, where she spent the night.”
The little cub Holly continues to suffer from the effects of hypothermia, and the zoo says she “still isn’t standing or moving around too much.” They add that the cub is “hypothermic despite her new warm environment,” and “We are hopeful she continues to improve but are taking it very much day by day.”
The Oakland Zoo says this is their 22nd mountain lion rescue, and when possible, they do return the mountain lions to their natural habitat in the wild. But that may not be possible with this cub. “With severely sick or young cubs like Holly,” the zoo says they care for them “until they recover enough so that we can help find suitable forever homes for them.”
Image: Oakland Zoo via Facebook