OAKLAND (KPIX) — Two mountain lion cubs captured by San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies were recovering Friday evening at the Oakland Zoo, according to zoo officials.
When the cubs first arrived, they were in pretty bad shape. But several days later, they are doing much better.
Friday morning, the cubs took their first tender steps toward recovery, gradually getting used to their hospital room. Earlier this week, the cubs were found wandering a Half Moon Bay parking lot, cold, wet and starving.
The mother nowhere to be seen. Sheriff’s deputies collected the pair of cubs — one male, one female — and brought them to the Oakland Zoo for care.
“Their biggest problem is that they were emaciated, said Oakland Zoo CEO Joel Parrott. “They were really struggling to find something to eat. At that age, four months of age, they were reliant on the mother to really help them get to food and provide food.”
A team of vets and techs found them encrusted with ticks and lesions, but they could tell they’d had another encounter.
“They had run into a skunk! They had gotten into a big fight; pretty obvious ’cause they smelled of skunk and they had bite wounds on them,” said Parrott.
The cubs are now safe and sound, and smelling better too. Mountain Lions are not unusual at the Oakland Zoo’s Wild Animal Hospital. The staff has treated eight cubs.
“This is our eighth mountain lion cub we’ve gotten. We live here in the Bay Area with mountain lion we’re sharing this habitat,” explained Oakland Zoo Conservation Director Amy Gotliff.
There are full grown mountain lions at the zoo already. Once the cubs fully recover, they too will find a home in a zoo somewhere, since they never learned to feed themselves in the wild.