"The Columbus Zoo is proud to collaborate with Oakland Zoo and offer a home to these cubs, who will reside in the Zoo’s North America region," the zoo said in a statement

By Claudia Harmata
November 17, 2020 01:58 PM
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Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo's wildlife family just got bigger!

On Wednesday, the Ohio-based zoo announced that three mountain lion cubs orphaned by and rescued from California's devastating wildfires will soon be moving into the zoo.

"Mountain lion cubs, Captain Cal, and two sister cubs (unrelated to him) will be arriving in the coming weeks from Oakland Zoo," the facility said in a statement on their Facebook page.

According to their post, Captain Cal was rescued by firefighters on Sept. 30 when they found him "severely burned" and "limping down a burned-out road in Redding."

The cub was taken to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and later transferred to the Oakland Zoo. Erin Harrison, a spokesperson for the zoo, previously told CNN that it was "a miracle" that he survived the fire.

Captain Cal
| Credit: Courtesy Oakland Zoo

"He is now fully recovered 47 days after he was rushed to Oakland Zoo’s veterinary hospital by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW)," the Columbus Zoo said. "With surgery, antibiotics, supportive fluids, pain medication, hand-feedings, daily bandage changes, and round-the-clock care, Captain Cal is ready to make the journey to the Columbus Zoo."

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The male mountain lion will not be making the trip alone, as he is joined by the two female cubs, who were both orphaned by the August Complex fire.

"The Columbus Zoo is proud to collaborate with Oakland Zoo and offer a home to these cubs, who will reside in the Zoo’s North America region," their statement read. "The Oakland Zoo staff has provided the Columbus Zoo team the opportunity to name the two female cubs. The Columbus Zoo will announce the cubs’ names in the coming weeks."

All three cats will be placed under a mandatory quarantine period when they get to Ohio. Once they are medically cleared, the zoo's staff will begin introducing them to the facility's only other mountain lion, Jessie.

The almost 17-year-old female is in overall good health though she is nearly blind, the zoo said. The animal care staff anticipates a smooth introduction as she "has a sweet disposition toward other mountain lions."

To help communities facing destructive wildfires in the Western U.S., consider donating to the following organizations:

The American Red Cross allows donors to direct funds to support people impacted by the fires.

GlobalGiving’s Wildfire Relief offers emergency funding to local efforts providing essentials to wildfire victims in need.

GoFundMe’s California Wildfire Relief Fund aims to "support a range of needs” by issuing “grants to individuals, organizations and communities that have either been impacted themselves or are dedicated to helping."

The California Fire Foundation "provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect."