San Diego/ Parks & Nature
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Published on February 15, 2024
Injured Mountain Lion Cub Nursed Back to Health by San Diego Humane Society's Project WildlifeSource: Google Street View

A young mountain lion found injured in Simi Valley has been given a new lease on life thanks to the efforts of the San Diego Humane Society's Project Wildlife team. The swift action of local animal services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) brought the five-month-old male cub to safety and much-needed medical care, reports the San Diego Humane Society and Project Wildlife.

Transported to the Ramona Wildlife Center, part of the San Diego Humane Society, early Thanksgiving morning after a car hit him the night before, the cub showed resilience. Being treated for a severely fractured hind leg, and complications from dehydration and malnourishment, this little lion received a temporary splint before undergoing surgery a few days later. "The cub was monitored via cameras in an indoor hospital enclosure, limiting human interaction," San Diego Humane Society's press release stated, overseeing his recovery with vigilance.

The mountain lion's journey to recovery included three surgeries, with one involving the careful alignment of the fractured bones with a metal plate and screws. After preliminary treatment in Santa Clarita, these procedures were held at the Ramona Wildlife Center. The animal's encouraging prognosis after his last sedated surgery check on Dec. 18 allowed for his movement to an outdoor enclosure, simulating a natural environment and fostering his rehabilitation, according to Andy Blue, campus director at San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center, who announced the cub's progress in a press release.

With his weight now tipping the scales at 25.2 lbs, the mountain lion's most recent check-up on Jan. 26 revealed positive signs of healing. While mentioning his steady gains, Blue stressed the importance of keeping human contact to an absolute minimum to maintain the cub's wild instincts. The Project Wildlife veterinarians, in conjunction with shelter veterinarians, continue to closely monitor the cub, whose eventual release back into the wild will be paired with a satellite GPS collar to track his recovery and adaptability as he resumes life as an apex predator.

The collective effort of various professionals, including Dr. Rachel Sachar of Twin Oaks Equine and Exotics Service and Dr. Stephen Klause of Veterinary Wildlife and Exotics who provided initial medical support, has been pivotal in the mountain lion's care. As detailed by the San Diego Humane Society, the Project Wildlife team works hand-in-hand with CDFW to determine the suitable course for animals such as this injured cub. Notably, this center in Ramona has committed to the welfare of apex predators and birds of prey since 2020. This specific case underlines their tireless work in granting over 10,000 wild animals in dire straits a shot at life every year.