OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A mountain lion cub is recovering at the Oakland Zoo after being found malnourished in El Dorado County last month.

A homeowner initially found three mountain cubs crying in a den near Somerset on Nov. 24, discovered that only two of the three cubs were still alive and reported the male and female cubs to the organization Sierra Wildlife Rescue.

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The cubs were picked up and treated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, then sent to Oakland Zoo for more intensive care on Nov. 26.

A rescued male mountain lion cub receives treatment. (Oakland Zoo)

According to Oakland Zoo, the cubs were suffering from malnutrition and dehydration, and the female cub passed away a day later due to her severe condition.

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The cubs, estimated to be between 4 and 6 weeks old when they were found, were heavily infested with fleas, ticks and other parasites, according to the zoo. While the female cub died, the male cub is improving and has gained 3 pounds since arriving at the zoo, and will eventually go to the El Paso Zoo once he fully recovers.

“The little male is thriving. His low red blood cell count is resolving, his appetite is great; he’s gaining weight, and getting feistier every day. We’ve already found him a forever home at El Paso Zoo, they’re rooting for his recovery and checking up on him regularly,” Dr. Alex Herman, director of Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital, said in a statement.

The rescue of the cubs marks the 10th mountain lion rescue for the Oakland Zoo with the partnership of the CDFW. Oakland Zoo also partners with other conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to help educate the public about conservation of species in the wild and human-wildlife conflicts.


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