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Rescued mountain lions find new home at the Living Desert

Rose and Sage, rescued mountain lions at the Oakland Zoo
Oakland Zoo
Rose and Sage, rescued mountain lions at the Oakland Zoo

Two mountain lions who were rescued after being found in a troubled state as cubs have found a new home at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert.

Rose and Sage were rescued separately as unrelated, orphaned cubs earlier this year.

Sage made national news earlier this year when he was discovered in a classroom at Pescadero High School in Northern California in June 2022.

Sage was brought to the Oakland Zoo by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Orphaned and malnourished, he received medical care from the Oakland Zoo team, and today is a healthy (approximately) nine-to eleven-months old mountain lion.

Rose was spotted by hikers in the Thornewood Open Space Preserve in San Mateo, CA. She was located and retrieved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other officials. Orphaned, emaciated, and malnourished, she was brought to the Oakland Zoo in April 2022 where she received critical veterinary care. Today, she is a healthy mountain lion cub estimated to be about nine-to ten-months old.

Living Desert officials said Rose and Sage are now thriving juvenile mountain lions.

Over the course of their rehabilitation and care at the Oakland Zoo, Rose and Sage were paired together to become a companion (non-breeding) pair.

Officials said when they arrive to The Living Desert, Rose and Sage will remain together. As they get accustomed to their new surroundings and build a relationship with their animal care team, they’ll spend time in a behind-the-scenes area of the zoo. Once they are comfortable, Rose and Sage will be introduced into the mountain lion habitat in Eagle Canyon.

Living Desert officials answered questions about Rose and Sage that people might have:

𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗱?

As young, orphaned cubs Rose and Sage had yet to learn the necessary skills to thrive independently. Mountain lion cubs stay with their mothers for up to two years, learning how to hunt and survive.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗺?

Salem will continue to have independent access to the mountain lion habitat in Eagle Canyon. At over 18 years old, Salem is one of the oldest mountain lions in human care. Our animal care and veterinary teams are dedicated to her wellbeing and health throughout every stage of her life. She receives regular medical treatments for arthritis and other geriatric-related ailments and the team closely monitors her behavior. Despite her advanced age, she is still her spunky self – engaging with guests at the window and training with her care team.

𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗥𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗺?

The current care plan is not to introduce Rose and Sage with Salem. Rose and Sage are a young, rambunctious pair with different energy levels and care needs than Salem, so they will be they will be managed separately. Once the pair are introduced to the mountain lion habitat, guests will either see Salem or they will see Rose and Sage.

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Jesus Reyes


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