An orphaned mountain lion cub, badly burned in a Northern California wildfire, is being treated at the Oakland Zoo after being rescued. The male cub, believed to be four to six weeks old, had his whiskers singed off and his paws severely burned. (Oct. 6)
ALEX HERMAN: They're usually raised by their mothers. He's very young, between four and six weeks old. So, his mother probably injured or killed by the fire and the firefighters found him with badly burned feet. He couldn't stand. And really singed all over.
Well, he's got a lot of spirit for sure. He's a feisty guy, which is great. He ate well from the time he came in, which is really good. All of his blood work was normal and we've x-rayed his chest twice now to see if there's any damage from smoke inhalation and so far no. So, he's in the best position he could be.
He's got a bit of a long road ahead of him just because the feet, as you can see from the pictures, are so damaged. We really had to remove all the covering of the paw pads. He's had one toe amputated. Strong little man.
In the wild they often hunt with their mom till they're two years old, so they're pretty big majestic beasts before they separate from their mom. So, a little guy like this, even if we can get him back to health, we can't mentor him to be a hunter in the wild. So, he'll always have to be in captivity but he'll be in a very good spot.
Mountain lions are our tiger, they're our lion for North America. They're these majestic alpha predator species so important to our ecosystem. And to see them so devastated, really by human action towards the environment, you know, I think it brings out a lot of emotion because they are such a beautiful amazing animals.