A 4- to 6-week-old orphaned mountain lion cub has become the latest survivor to be rescued by firefighters battling the wildfires in California. Despite being severely burned, the tiny cub that firefighters first mistook for a house cat, is being housed and nursed back to health at the Oakland Zoo, where workers expect him to make full recovery.
The cub, named "Captain Cal," has been given antibiotics, fluid, pain medication, and milk, and is apparently already back to "acting feisty."
"We're grateful to be part of this amazing little cub's rescue and rehabilitation," said Dr. Alex Herman, director of the zoo's veterinary hospital. "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."
Captain Cal was rescued after having suffered badly burned paws, severely irritated eyes, and whiskers singed off by the wildfires. Vets are saying his greatest challenge may be that he was orphaned at such a young age.
Since mountain lion cubs learn survival skills by staying with their mothers until they are at least 2, the zoo says he will need to be moved to a "suitable forever home" once he is released.