They had to file this super cute cougar kitten as a domestic cat at the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter because they don’t have a suitable designation on their software (my guess).
A mailperson delivered this cat to the shelter. The reason? The mother appears to have abandoned her kitten as she was seen at the same spot, Cebada Canyon Road, by the mailperson for two consecutive days. She therefore made the presumption that the cub had been abandoned and took her to the shelter. They were pleased and excited to help. It is a rare event I guess.
The shelter contacted California Department of Fish and Wildlife who transported the cub to a rehabilitation facility in San Diego. The staff loved her too.
But they have to keep their distance to avoid contact as she’ll be returned to the wild asap. You can easily domesticate a wild cat through human contact which prevents the cat from functioning effectively in the wild. Also, if they become habituated to humans they can pose a threat to people when adult.
Dori Villalon, operations manager of the Santa Barbara County Animals Services, said:
“Our goal with any wild animals, we want to see them get back to the wild..”
The kitten was kept in an isolation area. She was unwell and docile and given fluids and fed baby food. She weighs 3 pounds.
Comment: for me the big question is why the cub was alone. We will never know. Puma kittens continue to nurse until 2 months of age. I don’t know how old this cub is. She looks, perhaps, a few months old. At six months of age young pumas travel with their mother but don’t accompany them all the time.
“In Utah the tracks of kittens less than seven months old were observed with their mother’s only 19 percent of the time the adult’s tracks were located.”
Orphaned pumas have been successfully reintroduced to the wild at 7 months of age. They were both females. An expert said that young pumas should not be released until they are at least 6-7 months of age.
Sources: FTW.usatoday for the story. Wild Cats Of The World for the puma kitten info.
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