Mountain Lion Rescued From California Backyard Dies in Oakland Zoo

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: David Sailors/Getty Images)

On September 30, a Santa Rosa, California resident reported a sick mountain lion in their backyard. The mountain lion could not jump over a fence to escape the yard and was trapped. It looked sickly and emaciated, suffering severe health conditions, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.

Fish and Wildlife brought the mountain lion to Oakland Zoo’s wildlife care facility. The patient was a male about one year old and in severe condition. The zoo’s wildlife rescue team did all they could to save the animal, but his condition continued to deteriorate. About a week after he was rescued, the mountain lion was humanely euthanized.

“The decision was made to humanely euthanize him,” the Oakland Zoo said in a statement. “We are committed to reducing human-wildlife conflict to prevent future tragic stories like this one.”

Man Releases Mountain Lion He Accidentally Trapped in Utah

A man in Utah accidentally caught a mountain lion in a trap, and instead of leaving it there to die or killing it, he diligently worked to free the animal. The mountain lion is clearly not happy, as we can see from the video evidence. But the man takes his time so as not to cause the animal any more harm.

In the video, the mountain lion is lounging by a scrub tree, and it would look casual if you couldn’t see that its front left paw is pinched in a trap. The animal thrashes and hisses when the man attempts to collar it in order to protect himself. The collar allows him to hold the mountain lion down. Then, with his boots, he releases the trap, then pulls it open and off the animal’s paws with his hands. He lets the collar loosen and slip off, backing up quickly. The mountain lion sits and stares for a moment as if gauging what just happened. Then, it slinks off into the bushes and runs away to tend to its wound.

All in all, way to go Utah man for taking the time to free the poor animal. A real “The Lion and the Mouse” situation here, if you will.

Feral Donkeys Are Being Killed in Droves in Death Valley

In the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, covering much of southern California, northern Mexico, and Death Valley National Park, wild donkeys are roaming unchecked and unchallenged. That is, until the mountain lions moved in.

The National Park Service considered these feral donkeys an invasive species. The large herds trample life-giving wetlands and water sources in the deserts, which destroy habitats for native species. Before now, there was no way to keep the population under control. But new evidence suggests that the donkey herds are being culled by mountain lions in the area.

“We have imagery of a donkey group going by and then a cougar right behind them, like literally walking in their footsteps,” said lead author of a recent ecological study and ecologist at Aarhus University Erick Lundgren.

The mountain lions, or cougars, were attacking the donkeys near wetlands and at water sources. The other donkeys would then avoid those areas where previous donkeys were killed. Attacking near the wetlands is actually saving those delicate areas, as the study found they were less trampled than before.