Friday, December 07, 2007

Cougar Cub Placed at Lions, Tigers and Bears

Article Launched: 12/05/2007 01:43:44 PM PST

A young mountain lion captured in Redlands last week was transferred
Monday to a big cat rescue facility based in El Cajon. The animal is
expected to live out the remainder of its life in captivity.

The approximately 6-month-old female mountain lion was one of two
found perched in a backyard tree in east Redlands on Thursday morning
near Crafton Elementary School.

Redlands police were called to the home in the 100 block of Crafton
Court
shortly before 7 a.m. by the homeowner who spotted the big cats
in their tree.

The backyard looks across the Zanja to Crafton Elementary School,
which was locked down as a precaution after the mountain lions were
spotted.

Redlands police and Animal Control officers maintained a perimeter
around the mountain lions to ensure they didn't present a threat and
waited for state Fish and Game officers to arrive.

At one point, after about 30 minutes, both cats climbed down from the
tree and headed east along the Zanja. One of the animals escaped into
the county area near Redlands East Valley High School, which was also
put on lockdown as a precaution.

The other cat climbed another nearby pepper tree where it perched on
a branch, quietly observing the increasing activity around it as
police, animal control and Fish and Game officers were joined by
curious neighbors and journalists.

Eventually, Animal Control and Fish and Game officers were able to
tranquilize the cat, which was tagged and taken to the Redlands
Animal Shelter.

The female mountain lion, estimated to be about 6 months old and
weighing 50 to 60 pounds, was held at the shelter through the
weekend.

On Monday, Fish and Game officials transferred the animal to Lions,
Tigers and Bears, a nonprofit big cat rescue facility based in El
Cajon
. The animal will remain there temporarily until a permanent
home can be found.

Fish and Game officials say that while the mountain lion is healthy,
it is too young to be safely released into the wild and hasn't even
developed its adult teeth. Typically, mountain lion cubs remain with
their mothers until they are about 18 months old, said Kevin Brennan,
a wildlife biologist with the Department of Fish and Game.

Being raised in captivity, the animal will not be releasable into the
wild even once it reaches adulthood, said Brennan.

The second mountain lion, believed to be another young cat, was
sighted later Thursday evening near the intersection of Independence
and Wabash avenues.

Redlands Police and Fish and Game officials attempted to capture the
animal, but it escaped into the nearby orange groves after being shot
with a tranquilizer and could not be located.

There have been several confirmed mountain lion sightings in Redlands
since May 2001.

Of the hundreds of mountain lion sightings reported statewide
annually, fewer than 3 percent are considered safety threats.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, mountain lion attacks
on humans are rare. There have been only 15 verified mountain lion
attacks on humans in California since 1890, six of them fatal. The
last documented attack occurred in June 2004 in Tulare County.

While there have been several sightings in Redlands over the past six
years, there have been no reports of mountain lion attacks on humans
in San Bernardino County.

###

More information is available at the Department of Fish and Game's
website at www.dfg.ca.gov <http://www.dfg.ca.gov/> or by calling
(909) 484-0167.

Information on Lions, Tigers and Bears is available on their website
at www.lionstigersandbears.org <http://www.lionstigersandbears.org/>

http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/news/ci_7642089

 

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org    MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

 

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