Governor Gavin Newsom reported that the state was battling with over 300 known fires. Many of which were started by the intense thunderstorms on August 16 to 17. When this happened, humans and animals alike were in grave danger of losing their homes and sadly, many of them did.
One firefighter who was helping battle with the Zogg Fire in Northern California was able to rescue an orphaned mountain lion cub. He was found in the area that was badly scorched by the Zogg Fire near Redding. The poor animal was severely burned. He was so small and weighed less than 4lbs. And they learned that the cub was only about 4 to 6 weeks old. And after he was rescued, he was being cared for at the Oakland Zoo for the severe burns on his feet.
The zoo would post updates about the tiny cub on their Facebook page. They said that they named the cub “Captain Cal” after the mascot for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “Cal Fire.”
The zoo wrote: “He’s been eating & looks much better than he did when he arrived.”
In a press release, the zoo said that after the firefighter found the cub suffering on his own, he was immediately turned over to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. And they asked the zoo if they can help treat the cub. The zoo also said that the cub suffered bad burns on his paws. His whiskers were completely burned. The fact that he was already eating on his own and is starting to act feisty are good signs of improvement.
The hospital director and zoo veterinary, Dr. Alex Hexman said, “We’re grateful to be part of this amazing little cub’s rescue and rehabilitation. We’re cautiously optimistic that this cub will now survive and thrive, our dedicated team at Oakland Zoo is fully committed to do everything we can for him and for his beautiful species.”
The senior wildlife veterinarian of the agency, Dr. Deana Clifford said, “We are so grateful for the Oakland Zoo’s expertise, world-class facilities and willingness to step up – on extremely short notice – to help wildlife in need. Unfortunately, a lion this size is too small to be released back into the wild, but we are hopeful that under the Zoo’s care, it will get a second chance as an ambassador for its species.”
Not many are aware but the mountain lion cubs are very dependent on their mothers. In fact, they stay with their mom until they are about two years old or when they are ready to learn how to survive on their own in the mild.
Since Captain Cal was orphaned at a very young age, the zoo will have to transfer him to a more suitable home after his treatments. Until then, he will be released back into the wild and hopefully will get a second chance in life.
Reports reveal that the Zogg Fire burned over 56,300 acres of land and damaged 204 structures and destroyed 27 since it started in Shasta County. Four lives have been taken by the fire that is now 80% contained according to recent reports from KRCR News.