Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: October 4, 2020 9:20 am
Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo
Vets at Oakland Zoo are caring for an orphaned mountain lion cub who suffered severe burns during a wildfire.
Only four to six weeks old the cub was found by a Cal Firefighter in an area where the fire had burnt through a few days earlier. Upon discovery of the cub firefighters contacted the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, who in turn contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The CDFW were able to get help from Oakland Zoo to treat the cub.
“We are so grateful for the Oakland Zoo’s expertise, world-class facilities and willingness to step up – on extremely short notice – to help wildlife in need,” said CDFW’s senior wildlife veterinarian Dr. Deana Clifford. “Partnerships like this are absolutely critical to our state’s efforts to provide emergency care. California’s wildfires are erupting on a scale that we’ve never seen before, and we expect that we’ll have more burn patients than we have the capacity to treat in our own veterinary facility.”
Zoo vets remained at work ready to treat the cub when it arrived at 7.15pm. Upon arrival at the clinic vets examined and treated the cub. This included providing milk formula through a syringe, antibiotics and pain medication. The cub was also cleaned.
Upon assessment he was found to be severely burnt with his whiskers singed off and irritated eyes. Following x-rays vets were able to confirm that he had no damage to his bones or lungs, a positive sign for a successful recovery. He is now eating on his own and acting feisty.
Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo
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Dr. Alex Herman, Director of Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital said “We’re grateful to be part of this amazing little cub’s rescue and rehabilitation. It’s an amazing effort between Cal Fire, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, and of course our partners at the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. In the past two years, this marks our thirteenth mountain lion cub rescue for Oakland Zoo in partnership with CDFW. We’re cautiously optimistic that this cub will now survive and thrive, our dedicated team at Oakland Zoo is fully committed to do everything we can for him and for his beautiful species.”
In the wild mountain lion cubs will remain with their mother till 2 years old. As this cub was orphaned so young he lacks essential survival skills and will be placed in a suitable home once he recovers.
“Unfortunately, a lion this size is too small to be released back into the wild, but we are hopeful that under the Zoo’s care, it will get a second chance as an ambassador for its species,” added Clifford.
Mountain lions are under increasing threat in the wild due to vehicle strikes and illegal poaching. Oakland Zoo partners with conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to educate the public on the issue and help conserve the species in the wild.
Learn more about Oakland Zoo on their website – Oakland Zoo
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