Emaciated mountain lion cub rescued and cared for at Oakland Zoo | Health


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An orphaned and emaciated mountain lion cub spotted by hikers in the San Francisco area has been brought to the Oakland Zoo, where vets have named her “Rose” and are trying to treat her.

An initial examination indicated Rose had not eaten in weeks, Dr. Alex Herman, the zoo’s vice president of veterinary services, said in a statement Tuesday. The cub, estimated to be about five months old, weighs just 8.8 pounds (4 kilograms). The average female of her age should weigh around 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms).

“She is excruciatingly skinny. To survive, his body resorted to consuming his own muscle mass,” Herman said. The little one also suffers from extreme dehydration, “and his temperature was so low it couldn’t even be read.”

Hikers first spotted Rose at Thornewood Open Space Preserve in San Mateo County and reported the sighting to authorities, who sent a team of biologists and wildlife officials to find the cub . The search lasted five days.

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After a day of treatment, vets are cautiously optimistic about Rose’s recovery. She receives intravenous fluids and hydration and is bottle-fed with small amounts of formula several times a day.

“We can already tell she has a fiery spirit and a clear will to live, and we’re grateful for that,” Herman said.

Rose is the 18th orphan mountain lion cub the Oakland Zoo has received and rehabilitated from the state since 2017, zoo officials said. Three of the 18, Coloma, Toro and Silverado, still reside at the Oakland Zoo.

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