OAKLAND (CBSLA) – Three orphaned mountain lion cubs, two of whom were rescued in Orange County’s Santa Ana Mountains last year, are now in a new habitat at the Oakland Zoo.
The Oakland Zoo announced Thursday that Silverado and Toro, both males, and Coloma, a female, are now living as a family unit in a new 26,000 square-foot mountain lion exhibit in the California Trail, which opens to the public in June.
Silverado and Toro were separately found last November, about 15 miles apart, in the O.C. communities of Silverado Canyon and Rancho Santa Margarita, the Oakland Zoo reports. One was found in the backyard of a home, and the second was found two weeks later on a roadside.
Both were about 3 to 4 months old and weighed 30 pounds. They were cared for by the Feline Conservation Center in Lake Forest before being moved up to Oakland Zoo.
Coloma, meanwhile, was found Dec. 21 on a roadside in Coloma, a community located northeast of Sacramento. Toro was between 6 and 8 weeks old, starving and was near death, the zoo said.
All three have since been nursed back to health, but cannot be released into the wild because they would not survive.
“It’s been a long road to recovery for each of these orphaned puma, and a very emotional time for all of us who have helped them become normal young cats,” said Darren Minier, Assistant Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research at Oakland Zoo in a statement. “Sometimes shy, other times wacky, and often sleepy, its fills my heart to see them act like mountain lions.”
Following the rescue of Silverado and Toro, Lynn Cullens, executive director for the Mountain Lion Foundation, called the mountain lion population of the Santa Ana Mountains “the most at-risk in the nation” due to the “uncertainty around their survival.”
Oakland Zoo’s new exhibit is one of the largest mountain lion exhibits in the world, according to the zoo.