Exciting Captain Cal update from Oakland Zoo! Today Captain Cal finally ventured out of his crate (still bandaged heavily but walking)! He walked up to the partition between himself and the other two orphaned mountain lion cubs (females) that were also rescued from the Zogg Fire.
Based on their first meeting, this looks to be a great bond the 3 will form with each other! It’s sad that they ended up in the situation they have because of the devastating fire, but we are so happy that Captain Cal now has these two girls to grow up with for companionship and comfort.
Very soon the partition will be removed; it’s part of the introduction process that occurs in two phases. We anesthetized him to change his bandages today and the burned pads are improving daily. We’re very optimistic and happy!
Captain Cal update: this bright and feisty orphaned mountain lion rescued from the #ZoggFire still has a long road to recovery. Daily, Oakland Zoo Vet Hospital staff changes the bandages on his feet. He also has some damage, likely fire-related, to his skin, and some parasites. Oakland Zoo is addressing every medical issue, giving him pain medication, antibiotics, iron supplements, deworming medication, and vitamins. Captain Cal remains bright and active, and has a great appetite. The Zoo is working as hard as it can to keep improving his condition! **Join them as they visit Captain Cal LIVE tomorrow at 10:30am Pacific on their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/OakZoo/**
Rescued mountain lion UPDATE: Oakland Zoo vet staff treated "Captain Cal" and removed the dead skin from his wounded feet, then wrapped each foot in bandages to heal. This little guy is drinking formula, and getting lots of fluids and TLC. Dr. Herman and the entire veterinary staff are hopeful that he will continue to improve. We will continue to give you updates and let you know how Captain Cal is doing!
Oakland, CA – October 1, 2020… Only four to six weeks old,an orphaned mountain lion cub suffering from severe wildfire burns was discovered and rescued by a Cal Fire firefighter yesterday in an area the Zogg Wildfire burned through this past Sunday in Redding.
Upon discovering and capturing the lone cub, Cal Fire contacted the Shasta County Sherriff’s Department, who in turn contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW veterinarians, who are tirelessly working to save the lives of so many wildlife victims trapped by the recent fires throughout California, then contacted Oakland Zoo veterinarians for help in treating the cub.
Upon receiving the urgent call by CDFW around 5PM last night, Oakland Zoo’s veterinary team was standing by to receive and treat the cub, which arrived at 7:15PM, driven from Redding by Pete Figura, Supervising Wildlife Biologist for the CDFW.
“We are so grateful for the Oakland Zoo’s expertise, world-class facilities and willingness to step up – on extremely short notice – to help wildlife in need,” said CDFW’s senior wildlife veterinarian Dr. Deana Clifford. “Partnerships like this are absolutely critical to our state’s efforts to provide emergency care. California’s wildfires are erupting on a scale that we’ve never seen before, and we expect that we’ll have more burn patients than we have the capacity to treat in our own veterinary facility.”
“Unfortunately, a lion this size is too small to be released back into the wild, but we are hopeful that under the Zoo’s care, it will get a second chance as an ambassador for its species.”
Oakland Zoo’s Dr. Lynette Waugh, along with staff veterinary technicians immediately examined and treated the very young male cub, weighing only 3.75 pounds – and reported he was badly burned, especially his paws. His whiskers are completely singed off, and there is severe irritation to his eyes as well. The cub was cleaned and given antibiotics, supportive fluids, pain medication and fed milk formula for kittens (through a syringe). Dr. Alex Herman at Oakland Zoo explained that he is currently eating on his own and acting feisty – both promising signs for his recovery. Zoo veterinarians performed x-rays earlier today to determine if there is damage to his lungs from smoke inhalation and bone damage to his paws, and results were positive. Aside from severe burns to the soft tissue of the paws, there is no damage to bones or lungs. Oakland Zoo's veterinary team is also working with UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital for their expertise in providing the most advanced care in treating the cub’s burn wounds.
Dr. Alex Herman, Director of Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital said “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. In the past two years, this marks our thirteenth mountain lion cub rescue for Oakland Zoo in partnership with CDFW. We’re cautiously optimistic that this cub will now survive and thrive, our dedicated team at Oakland Zoo is fully committed to do everything we can for him and for his beautiful species.”
Aside from wildfires, Mountain lions are facing numerous threats in California; often struck by cars and illegally poached. These factors culminate in the human-wildlife conflict, putting them at odds with humans in encroaching urban areas and developments. Oakland Zoo partners with conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to educate the public on the issue and help conserve the species in the wild.
Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, an alliance with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help support the CDFW to save mountain lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict.
In the wild, Mountain lion cubs stay with their mothers until they are around two years of age in order to learn the skills to survive on their own. Because this cub is orphaned and now unable to learn how to survive in the wild, he will be placed in a suitable forever home once he’s ready to leave Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.
Oakland Zoo is celebrating its newest addition to the Hamadryas Baboon troop, which is now three generations strong. Adult female Mocha gave birth to a baby boy, named Mousa, on November 3. Mousa is Mocha’s first baby and she is proving to be a great mom. Mocha’s parents, Maya and Martijn, are still part of the troop, which now includes 17 members.
Photo Credit: Oakland Zoo
Like most Baboon mothers, Mocha brought her baby outdoors when he was just one day old. In the close-knit troop, the other members have shown continuous support and have kept an eye on Mocha and the new baby.
“Initially, Mousa’s aunts and uncles were especially interested in Mousa and formed an entourage going everywhere that they went, never more than a foot or two away and often much closer. At almost three weeks old, Mousa is doing great,” said Andrea Dougall, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.
Mousa’s father, Kusa, was brought to Oakland Zoo by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to begin his own harem with the offspring of Martijn. The genetic diversity that came with Kusa’s arrival strengthens the populations of Hamadryas Baboons at AZA-accredited U.S. zoos. Oakland Zoo’s animal care staff continues to work closely with the SSP to maintain and increase genetic diversity within the troop.
Read more and se additional photos of Mousa below.
Two non-related Mountain Lion cubs are being cared for at Oakland Zoo’s veterinary hospital. In recent weeks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) rescued the cubs separately.
The male and female cubs, both approximately 9-10 weeks of age, are doing well and are being attended by Zoo vet staff around the clock. Because the cubs were orphaned too young to have the survival skills necessary for release, they will ultimately be permanently placed at an appropriate permanent facility when they are strong enough.
“We are so pleased that the Oakland Zoo was willing and able to play a role in saving the life of these cubs,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator. “Returning injured or orphaned wildlife to the wild is always the ideal outcome, but in situations like this -- where an animal is too young to have the necessary survival skills -- placing it back in the wild would be a death sentence. In those cases, we rely on zoos with experienced wildlife specialists and resources to step in and provide critical care. These cubs are small and in need of a temperature-controlled environment where they can stay warm. The Oakland Zoo’s veterinary facility was exactly what these animals needed, at exactly the right time.”
Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo
The male, first to arrive in late September, is from Modoc County. The cub was orphaned after its mother, which was reportedly killing sheep in the area, was shot and killed under a legal depredation permit. In the state of California, a person who suffers property damage by Mountain Lions is entitled to obtain a depredation permit to protect their property.
The second cub, a female, was discovered in Lake County after a property owner heard ‘chirps’ from what he believed to be a bird over a period of seven days. Mountain Lion cubs make a high-pitched ‘chirping’ sound when calling for their mother. The property owner did not disturb the animal until he observed the cub’s health was in serious decline.
According to Katie Woolery, Assistant Director at Sonoma Wildlife Rescue, an adult Mountain Lion, struck and killed by a car, was discovered five miles away around the same time but it’s not confirmed that this was the cub’s mother.
CDFW placed the female cub with Sonoma Wildlife Rescue on September 12, where it was examined and treated. The cub was severely dehydrated, emaciated, covered in parasites and burrs.
“While we don’t know for sure what caused this female cub to become orphaned, we do know that one of the biggest threat to Mountain Lions in California is traffic, with 107 animals killed by automobiles in 2016 alone,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.
The most recent, and youngest, arrived the night of December 23 in severe critical condition, more so than the first two cubs.
This third cub, estimated to be approximately 6-8 weeks of age, arrived near death, unable to stand or walk from such severe dehydration and starvation. Zoo vets found her starvation was so advanced, her body was consuming its own muscle mass. After six days of continuous IV fluids containing essential electrolytes and minerals, and round-the-clock bottle-feedings by Zoo veterinary staff, she began walking and showing signs of life. Vet staff joyously reports she is now regularly eating solid foods, showing spunky personality, and even ‘playing’ with her enrichment.
As determined by the CDFW, these three cubs cannot be released back in to the wild once their rehabilitation is complete, they would have no chance of survival. Unfortunately, they need their mothers to be effectively taught to hunt and survive. In the wild, even when the mother is present, the survival rate of Mountain Lion cubs is slim. Mountain Lions are becoming critically endangered in the California, often struck by cars or shot when seen as a threat in encroaching urban areas and developments. Oakland Zoo partners with the conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to try and help conserve the species in the wild.
“Mountain Lion cubs need up to two years with their mom in order to learn how to survive and thrive. Human survival training is not possible. The Bay Area Puma Project supports Oakland Zoo’s efforts to care for Pumas that cannot be released into the wild,” said Zara McDonald, Executive Director of the Bay Area Puma Project.
Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, an alliance with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help support the CDFW save Mountain Lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict.
Photo Credits: Monica Fox (Images 1-3) / Oakland Zoo
Yet unnamed, the newest kitten seems to be thriving in the past several days. Upon arrival, Zoo vet staff began treating her in the ICU with nine daily and overnight bottle-feedings of KMR (kitten milk replacer formula), grooming her with a soft cloth to mimic a mother’s tongue, and monitoring her progress constantly. She is now eating solid food. Her favorite stew is a combination of raw meat from Primal Pet Foods, chicken baby food, frozen mice that is warmed, and cod.
In cooperation with the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Feline Conservation Center, Oakland Zoo has taken in two orphaned Mountain Lion cubs. The cubs were found separately in Orange County, two weeks apart from each other. Due to their ages and geographic proximity to each other when rescued, Oakland Zoo veterinarians will conduct DNA testing to determine if they are, in fact, siblings.
An adult female Mountain Lion was struck and killed by a motorist in the area of the cubs’ rescues, leading to the conjecture that the cubs may have belonged to her and were separated as a result of her tragic death.
In response to a situation such as this, Oakland Zoo helped found BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team) in 2013, in partnership with the Bay Area Puma Project and the Mountain Lion Foundation, to help save Mountain Lions caught in the human-wildlife conflict with the CDFW.
"The Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas are the most at-risk in the nation, equal to the Florida Panther in terms of the uncertainty around their survival. Orphaned kittens represent the death of a mother lions, and this isolated Orange County population cannot afford the loss. It will take protection of habitat and wildlife corridors, depredation prevention efforts, and enhancements of Southern California freeways to allow the Mountain Lions of the Santa Anas and Orange County to survive. The two orphaned kittens at the Oakland Zoo are evidence of that need," said Lynn Cullens, Executive Director of the Mountain Lion Foundation.
Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo
Both cubs are male and estimated to be 3-4 months old and weigh close to 30 lbs. They were found approximately 15 miles apart in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita.
The first was discovered in a resident’s backyard, and the second, approximately two weeks later, on the roadside. Residents reported the cub sightings and CDFW was contacted. The cubs were initially cared for by the Feline Conservation Center in Lake Forest before being brought to Oakland Zoo where they are currently being quarantined, given medical attention and cared for by the Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.
The second male cub arrived at Oakland Zoo on Monday and is doing very well. Zookeepers describe him as ‘feisty’ compared to his counterpart, who is more shy and cautious. Mountain Lions are new to Oakland Zoo, and these two cubs and the events that led them to need a ‘forever home’ will serve as educational ambassadors at Oakland Zoo’s upcoming 56-acre California Trail expansion, opening in June 2018.
“It is an honor to provide a forever home for these young Mountain Lions, and honor their lives further by working to help conserve their wild counterparts. We have a lot of work to do to better protect and conserve pumas, from proper education to establishing wildlife crossings and proper enclosures for pets and livestock. Oakland Zoo will continue to work in our BACAT Alliance with CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bay Area Puma Project, Mountain Lion Foundation to inspire our community to both understand and take action for our precious local lion,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.
A lively trio of North American River Otter pups recently made their debut at Oakland Zoo. A male and two females were born February 9, and they were introduced to the public prior to Mother’s Day weekend. According to keepers, their mom, Rose, has been doing a great job taking care of her new litter.
Zookeepers have also given names to the active pups. The boy has been named Si’ahl (“see-all”), and his sisters have been named Imnaha (“em-na-ha”) and Talulah (“ta-lou-la”).
The arrival of the pups brings the total number of North American River Otters, at Oakland Zoo, to six: their mom, dad Wyatt, and grandma, Ginger (Ginger is mother to Rose).
The pups are still nursing, but have begun eating solid foods consisting of fish and some meat.
“We are pleased to have our sixth healthy litter of Otter pups since 2011. This is Rose’s second litter, and we are happy that she is once again being a great mother to her pups. You can see Rose and her three pups daily at the Oakland Zoo, in the Children’s Zoo,” said Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.
Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo
Zookeepers have been tracking the baby Otters’ growth and health with bi-weekly checkups, referred to as "pupdates" to Zoo staff. Rose has only very recently been venturing into the exhibit with her pups. Swimming is not instinctual; therefore, pups do not go on exhibit until they are strong enough swimmers and a certain size.
Zoo guests are now able to watch the new pups in their exhibit daily. The River Otter exhibit is located in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo.
A Wallaroo joey is currently being hand-raised by zookeepers at Oakland Zoo. The joey was orphaned when his mother passed away, earlier this month, from an infection.
The male joey is approximately 5 months old. He will be receiving round-the-clock nurturing and care until he is about 8 months of age, when a joey normally emerges from a mother’s pouch. At that age, he will be housed with other Wallaroos in the Zoo’s “Wild Australia” exhibit and learn to be independent.
The joey, yet to be named by his keepers, is bottle fed seven times per day with a high-grade baby formula manufactured in Australia called ‘wombaroo’. Bundled inside a makeshift pouch in a temperature-controlled room, he is also given water twice per day for hydration, as the inside of a mother’s pouch provides moisture and warmth.
The joey’s mother, named Maloo, was three years of age and a first-time mother. On March 1, while on exhibit, she had removed the joey from her pouch, an indication to zookeepers of a problem. Oakland Zoo veterinarians examined her, discovering that she was in need of antibiotics due to an infection. She was treated, but sadly died the following day.
“While staff is very sad about the passing of Maloo, we are working with other AZA facilities to be best prepared for the intense care required to successfully hand-raise a Wallaroo. We are keen to get to know the little joey and prepare him for life with the rest of the mob,” said Andrea Dougall, Assistant Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.
Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo
Keepers are taking the joey outside for sun twice per day, and zoo veterinarians are also closely monitoring the infant’s progress. In addition to weight monitoring, tail length, feet, and head size are measured during daily physical exams to ensure health and proper growth. This hands-on infant care will continue for the next three months, until he has grown enough to live independently.