Rescue

Firefighters rescue orphaned mountain lion cub trapped in California wildfire

October 23rd, 2020
The California wildfires have been causing devastation and destruction all over the state, and one of the most heartbreaking things has to be the effect that these fires have on the wild animals in the area. Unlike humans, animals don’t receive a warning when a fire is spreading dangerously. Because of this, many end up losing their homes in the fires, not to mention being in grave danger of injury or death.

It’s incredibly painful to know that animals are dying in these fires every day, and there’s not much that we can do about it. So whenever we hear a story about an animal that has been rescued from such devastation, it makes our hearts feel a little happier.

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Oakland Zoo Source: Oakland Zoo

Rescuers came across the injured lion cub in Shasta County last Sunday. He was caught up in the fires and was badly injured, so he was treated at Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital before settling into his temporary home at the zoo while he recovers.

Rescuers are in amazement that the cub, who is believed to be only three or four weeks old, has survived his injuries, having been in a bad way when they first came across him.

“It’s a miracle that he’s alive,” Erin Harrison of the Oakland Zoo told CNN.
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Oakland Zoo Source: Oakland Zoo

The cub’s paws were badly burned, and his whiskers had been singed off. Pictures show just how terrified he looked when he first arrived at the zoo’s hospital, and it’s truly heartbreaking to see.

The vets took an x-ray to assess the internal damage that the fire had caused in the cub’s lungs, as well as to check for broken bones. Thankfully, the results came back fine, though the cub has bad soft tissue damage in his paws in addition to irritated eyes. But this little cub is a fighter, and vets are positive about his recovery.
“He was alert & feisty, so that gave me hope that he would be okay,” Wildlife biologist Pete Figura said.
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Oakland Zoo Source: Oakland Zoo
The cub is being treated with pain medication, antibiotics, and fluids, and vets are “cautiously optimistic” he’ll be okay. As the little guy has been orphaned, he is being fed milk through a syringe and will spend the rest of his life living at a zoo. Sadly, he cannot be released back into the wild, as without his mom it would be a struggle for him to fend for himself.

So many people came together to help rescue the little cub, and without them, his recovery wouldn’t have been possible.

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Oakland Zoo Source: Oakland Zoo

“We’re grateful to be part of this amazing little cub’s rescue and rehabilitation. It’s an amazing effort between Cal Fire, the Shasta County Sherriff’s Department, and of course our partners at the California Department of Fish & Wildlife,” The Director of Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Alex Herman, stated in a press release.

We’re so thankful that the cub was able to be rescued and get the treatment he needs, and our hearts go out to all of those animals who have been badly affected by the wildfires.

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Source: Oakland Zoo, CNN

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