Oakland Zoo Takes in Orphan Mountain Lion Cubs

One of the cubs was found stuck in the backyard of an Orange County home last month.

Two orphan mountain lion cubs found in Orange County have a new home at the Oakland Zoo and will be tested for kinship, officials announced today.

The cubs were found two weeks apart from each other in the Silverado Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita areas— between Irvine and Corona — last month. Both are males, about three to four months old, and weigh nearly 30 pounds, Bay City News reports.

Adding to the theory that they are brothers, a motorist fatally struck an adult female mountain lion in the area where they were found 15 miles apart. Zoo officials plan to test their DNA for answers.

One was called in as a bobcat stuck in a backyard, Orange County Animal Care officials say on Facebook. The second one arrived at Oakland Zoo on Monday and is described as the feistier one.

(Photo courtesy of Orange County Animal Care)

Both cubs will have a 56-acre space when the zoo’s California Trail expansion opens in June 2018. The zoo has taken in adorable animals in the past, like the five baby raccoons who hitchhiked across the country.

“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,” says Oakland Zoo director of conservation Amy Gotliffe in a statement.

The zoo also made a plea on Tuesday to prevent more orphan mountain lions in Orange County, calling for people power to have the Temecula City Council reject a development proposal that could further harm the animals. Council members approved the Altair housing project in a 4-1 vote, The Press-Enterprise reports.

View Comments