Holly, the mountain lion cub brought to Oakland Zoo’s veterinary hospital last week, is eating on her own and hasn’t required hands-on treatment from humans for a couple of days.
Zoo officials say the 3- to 4-month-old cub is displaying some signs of difficulty adjusting.
But zoo spokesperson Erin Dogan said Tuesday staff members are adjusting along with her and figuring out the best ways to make her comfortable.
“The last lab results looked good; she is improving,” Dogan said.
Officials have said the cub won’t be released back into the wild. Dogan said they will likely start looking for Holly’s permanent home in the next few weeks, once she’s fully recovered.
“She’s so young, if she were released back into the wild, she wouldn’t survive,” Dogan said. “Lion cubs stay with their mothers for up to two years to learn how to hunt and survive on their own,” Dogan said. “So Holly will go to another AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)-accredited zoo, or to an accredited sanctuary.”
Holly was found early last week under a deck on a homeowner’s property in Santa Cruz. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded and waited to see if Holly’s mother returned for her before deciding to bring her to Oakland on Dec. 19.
She was considered critically ill when brought in. The hospital treated her with fluids, vitamins, anti-nausea medication, and anti-parasitic medication, and she has made remarkable progress since.
Staff named her Holly for the holidays.