Two mountain lion kittens that were found under a picnic table outside of an office complex in Thousand Oaks in November are now under the care of veterinarians at the Orange County Zoo.
An employee at the office complex, which abuts open space, reported seeing four small mountain lion kittens on Nov. 29. The National Park Service said they appeared to be about six weeks old and were “alone and thin, but in stable condition.”
Biologists captured the kittens, fitted them with tracking collars and monitored them with trail cameras to see if their mother returned. One of the kittens was in particularly poor health, officials reported, so on Dec. 1 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife took the kittens to an O.C. veterinary hospital since there was no sign of their mother.
Two of the kittens died overnight. But the two kittens who survived were transported to a local veterinary hospital, and subsequently taken to the O.C. Zoo in Orange where they are scheduled to be housed in a new habitat that will be completed early next year.
NPS believes the mother of the mountain lion kittens, who could not be released back into the wild because of their young age, was likely killed or abandoned the kittens.
“Once they’re a bit more comfortable in their new home, and our large mammal enclosure is ready for them early next year, we’ll introduce Orange County’s newest stars to what I am sure will be their adoring public,” O.C. Supervisor Don Wagner said in a news release.
The zoo will continue to care for the kittens, but they are not yet available for the public to view.