The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column-inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and
Fish Department is caring for an approximately eight-week-old mountain lion cub
found in the Cornville area.
The cub was spotted by Cornville
residents and reported to AZGFD on three separate occasions. Each time, the
reporting residents did the right thing, leaving the animal alone, because the
mother of a young animal is typically nearby. In this case, the mother never
returned after two weeks and AZGFD biologists determined that in this situation,
it was best to intervene.
The female cub was picked
up from a nearby licensed wildlife rehabilitator and transferred to AZGFD on
Friday, Nov. 3. To determine the overall health and condition of the cub, it was
given a full examination by veterinarians at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital.
The veterinarians found the cub to be in poor-to-fair
“Mountain lions are truly
resilient animals, but this one likely would not have made it without human
intervention and specialized care at the Wildlife Center,” said Mike Demlong,
AZGFD Wildlife Education program manager. “When we received the cub, it was
lethargic, severely dehydrated and emaciated. She needed help immediately. We’re
currently doing everything possible to improve the health of this cub and give
her the strongest chance for survival.”
Providing a fighting chance for
wildlife needing a helping hand isn’t anything new for the AZGFD Wildlife
Center, but such a rescue can often be costly.
provide better care for sick, injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife, AZGFD
is planning to build a new wildlife center at the department’s headquarters in
north Phoenix. With limited funding available for the project, the department is
seeking the public’s help.
The public can donate to AZGFD’s
ongoing “Be a Hero for Wildlife” donation campaign and assist many different
species of wildlife in need by texting CRITTER to 41444 from any smartphone or
“Helping injured wildlife — and
especially baby wildlife — is the best part of my job,” said Demlong. “In
regards to this mountain lion cub, I know I’ve made a difference. It’s rewarding
knowing that we’ve taken an animal that was nearly dead and with time, good
nutrition and care we’re able to turn it into a rambunctious, playful mountain
The cub will remain with AZGFD
until a permanent wildlife sanctuary, wildlife park or zoo can be found to give
it a forever home. Unfortunately, because it was orphaned it cannot be returned
to the wild. Mountain lion cubs spend a year or more with their mom learning
critical survival skills. This cub will not have that
addition to donations, the public can also help keep wildlife wild by leaving
baby wildlife alone. The situation with this cub is an exception, but in general
baby wildlife is rarely orphaned or abandoned. One or both of its parents is
likely nearby searching for food and will return.
For more information on
Arizona’s diverse wildlife or the Wildlife Center, visit www.azgfd.gov.