56°
Cloudy
SAT
 66°
 38°
SUN
 67°
 36°
MON
 69°
 39°
TUE
 69°
 38°
WED
 69°
 41°

Petaluma cougar cubs redeem their image

Organization volunteers hope that this will yield several positive results, including a new perspective on the lives mountain lions lead. Besides saving two cubs that otherwise would be forced to try and survive in the wild, the organization?s efforts involve working toward a better understanding of the creatures that many fear.

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, the non-profit group that has adopted the cubs, is ?dedicated to the rescue of injured and orphaned wildlife to promote understanding and appreciation.?

Doris Duncan, the executive director of the organization, took charge of the matter after the two cubs were brought to the organization by the Department of Fish & Game.

According to Duncan, the mountain lions are going to live out the rest of their lives in what she refers to as ?natural isolation.? Though they will not be released to the wild, they will live in a habitat created specifically to mirror the one that they would normally inhabit.

Letting them go is not an option because they are far too young and weak to survive in the wild without a mother. Kyla, the female cub, has a broken front left leg, and Kuma, the male, had his whole left paw amputated. Both are certain to require additional medical assistance in the future, which is why they will live in a human-made enclosure in Petaluma, made complete with an artificial creek. There is even a lookout tower and feeding area, which the cubs are locked in while the workers clean the enclosure. The now 9-month-old cubs are fed once a day on a diet consisting of deer and quail.

In the wild, mountain lions normally stay in their family group for about two years, so the cubs? learning time was abruptly cut short. Still, Duncan and other agency officials hope that the animals can learn enough about hunting prey so that they can have as close to a normal existence as possible. Normality in captivity is unattainable, however, and the cubs can never be released into the wild.

The organization hopes that these cubs can prove society?s misconceptions about mountain lions wrong. Statistics prove that these admittedly dangerous creatures much prefer deer and quail over humans. Much of the unfounded fear of them stems from a lack of understanding, which the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue aims to amend.

Though caution must obviously be exercised around these lethal animals, they are not the ruthless killers that society portrays them to be, according to Duncan.

(Contact Sean Trott at argus@arguscourier.com)


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  + |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View