MONROVIA (CBSLA) — A history-making 7-year-old mountain lion is continuing to break barriers, and show her resilience to all who are lucky enough to witness it.
She is the first known mountain lion in California to be rescued, rehabilitated, released, and found thriving again back in their natural habitat.
“We were ecstatic to see her on the cameras. We’re very excited to see that she looks good,” said Korrina Domingo of the non-profit Cougar Conservatory.
Domingo helped rehabilitate the mountain lion after she was spotted in September with burns on all four of her paws, likely from the 114,000-acre Bobcat Fire.
The first sighting was in the yard of Monrovia resident Gary Potter, who quickly stepped into action as soon he saw her.
“I heard her scream,” Potter said.
She had burns on all of her paws and was staying put, but she needed to get veterinary care.
Potter made the move to call the Cougar Conservatory, which sent the big cat to the University of California, Davis, where doctors conducted an experimental fish skin treatment to heal her paws.
“They did the tilapia treatment and in between that, they do this really cool light treatment. They’re shooting light at it to make sure it gets rid of any infection,” Domingo said.
She was released back into the Angeles National Forest on October 23, but that wouldn’t be her last appearance on someone’s camera.
Experts estimated she had been wandering around for about a week or two before she found her way to Potter’s yard.
Since her paws were burned, she couldn’t use them to kill her prey, and hadn’t been eating enough.
She got some TLC from animal health care workers who helped soothe her pain, heal her wounds, and feed her. Now, she’s walking well.
Two weeks after being released, she was spotted on a trail camera by a wildlife photographer, where she was identified by her tracking collar.
“That can only be her,” said photographer Denis Callet. “It’s just the greatest thing.”