California Firefighter Saves Mountain Lion Cub from Zogg Fire

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

The cub suffered severe burns, but veterinarians are “cautiously optimistic” about its recovery

People aren’t the only victims of the wildfires that are raging across California. Domestic and wild animals are suffering and dying as well. Fortunately, a firefighter battling the Zogg fire in Northern California discovered a badly burned mountain lion cub and rescued it.

NBC News says the cub was found near Redding, about 160 miles north of Sacramento.

According to KCRA, the male cub, which weighs only 3 1/2 pounds, is believed to be only 3 or 4 weeks old. The cub was seriously injured in the fire, suffering severe burns, especially on its paws. Its whiskers were singed off. It is now receiving care at the Oakland Zoo, where it is drinking milk from a syringe and taking pain medication, antibiotics, and fluids.

“We are so grateful for the Oakland Zoo’s expertise, world-class facilities and willingness to step up – on extremely short notice – to help wildlife in need,” the agency's senior wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Deana Clifford, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, a lion this size is too small to be released back into the wild, but we are hopeful that under the Zoo’s care, it will get a second chance as an ambassador for its species,” Clifford said.

Veterinarians say they are “cautiously optimistic” he will be okay. In a press release, the zoo said that the cub, which they’ve named Captain Cal, is eating on his own and acting feisty.

The Zogg fire has burned more than 56,000 acres and destroyed more than 200 structures since it started Sept. 27, 2020, in Shasta County. Four people have been killed in the fire that is 88 percent contained as of this writing.

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