Brendan Weber

Oakland Zoo Welcomes 2 Orphaned Mountain Lion Cubs

Thanks to the Oakland Zoo, two orphaned mountain lion cubs from Southern California have a new home at the East Bay park.

The three or four month old felines were found in Orange County two weeks apart from each other, according to the zoo. One was found in someone's backyard and the other was found on the side of a road.

It is not yet clear if the cubs are related, but officials believe they might be siblings, according to the zoo. That's because an adult female mountain lion was hit and killed by a vehicle near the area where the cubs were found. Officials suspect the cubs may have belonged to the adult female before being forced to fend for themselves.

The two cubs have since arrived in the East Bay and are being checked out by zoo staff. One of the cubs is described as being "shy" and "cautious." The other is said to be a bit more "feisty."

Both felines will move into the zoo's under-construction mountain lions habitat once it's ready in February or March, according to the zoo. Visitors won't be able to view the cubs until June when the zoo's 56-acre California Trail expansion project reaches completion. 

The mountain lions will be kept at the zoo for the remainder of their lives because they were unable to learn vital survival skills as cubs, according to the zoo. If the cubs were to be released, they would most likely not survive.

"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," Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo, said in a statement. "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."

While the cubs wait for their new habitat to open, they will continue to accumulate to their new environment and get to know the zookeepers. 

Contact Us