SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — An orphaned and malnourished mountain lion cub discovered by hikers in the San Francisco region was transported to the Oakland Zoo, where vets called her “Rose” and are attempting to nurse her back to health.
Rose had not fed in weeks, according to a first checkup, said Dr. Alex Herman, the zoo’s vice president of Veterinary Services, in a statement Tuesday. The cub, who is believed to be approximately five months old, weighs only 8.8 pounds. A typical female cub her age should weigh around 30 pounds.
“She is painfully skinny. Her body resorted to consume its own muscular mass in order to survive “He said. “She is also very dehydrated, and her temperature was so low that it couldn’t even be read.”
Hikers first noticed Rose in the Thornewood Open Space Preserve in San Mateo County and alerted authorities, who dispatched a team of scientists and wildlife officials to retrieve the cub. It took five days to complete the search.
Veterinarians are cautiously hopeful about Rose’s recovery after just one day of therapy. She is getting intravenous fluids and hydration, as well as being bottle-fed little amounts of formula many times each day.
“We can immediately see she has a fierce character and an apparent will to survive, which we appreciate,” Herman added.
Rose is the 18th orphaned mountain lion baby that the Oakland Zoo has received and rehabilitated from the state since 2017. Three of the 18 remain in the Oakland Zoo: Coloma, Toro, and Silverado.
ABOUT THE OAKLAND ZOO AND THE CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION SOCIETY:
The Conservation Society of California (CSC) manages Oakland Zoo, which is home to over 850 native and exotic species. The CSC is a non-profit organization that leads an informed and motivated community to take action for wildlife locally and worldwide. The CSC is dedicated to conservation-based education and the conservation of species and their habitats in the wild, with over 25 conservation partners and projects globally. Oakland Zoo is committed to animal care and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a national organization that establishes the highest standards for animal welfare in zoos and aquariums.