Abandoned mountain lion cub rescued by hikers

  • A mountain lion cub was rescued by hikers in San Mateo’s Thornewood Open Space Preserve.
  • The cub was abandoned by her mother.
  • The malnourished cub was taken to the Oakland Zoo. 

At the Oakland Zoo in California, a small mountain lion cub is fighting for her life, but she’s surrounded by an army of animal experts!

Hikers first noticed “Rose” in San Mateo’s Thornewood Open Space Preserve. The cub appeared to be underweight and flea and tick-infested. Worse, there was no sign of her mother.

Oakland Zoo

While it’s not uncommon for mama mountain lions to leave their cubs alone for a few days while they go hunting, it was evident that this baby was neglected. The hikers alerted authorities, who dispatched workers to search for the cub.

Several wildlife organizations joined the search, and their cameras and regular patrols paid off after four or five days. The cub was caught and sent to the Oakland Zoo, where she was met by a veterinarian staff.

Oakland Zoo

Rose weighed only 8.8 pounds, compared to 30 pounds for a healthy cub her age.

Dr. Alex Herman, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo, says Rose’s exams showed she hadn’t eaten for days.

β€œShe is excruciatingly thin. To survive, her body resorted to consuming its own muscle mass. She is also suffering from extreme dehydration, and her temperature was so low it couldn’t even be read. But she survived her first night, which was critical. We can already tell she has a feisty spirit and an obvious will to live, and we’re thankful for that.”

Oakland Zoo

Rose began to make progress after receiving round-the-clock care. After blood tests revealed she had a critically low red blood cell count, she was given a blood transfusion by Silverado, an adult mountain lion who was previously rescued and now lives at the zoo.

β€œWe appreciate the hiker and the team at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District who alerted us to the mountain lion cub and its condition,” CDFW Biologist Garret Allen said.

He also mentioned that the Santa Cruz Mountains provide suitable habitat for mountain lions, but that seeing one is unusual due to their elusive nature. Anyone who sees a mountain lion should not approach it, he said.

Oakland Zoo

Rose will be recovering for the next few months. In the wild, cubs often spend around two years with their moms learning how to survive. 

Rose will be a permanent resident of another Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) approved zoo without the benefit of a mother. She might even get to stay with the people who rescued her in Oakland!

Source: Inspire More

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