With the help of veterinarians from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, an abandoned puma cub has found a new life at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Discovered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in the northeast part of the state, the underweight male cub was initially taken to the Simmons Safari Park near Ashland. According to a press release, trail cameras showed that the cub had been without his mother for an extended period of time.
Safari park staff and zoo veterinarians cared for the cub while he was quarantined.
During the cub’s quarantine, Michelle Schireman, a species coordinator for pumas with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, sought a permanent home for him.
By happenstance, the Riverside Discovery Center was next on the list of accredited facilities that had space for a puma, also called a mountain lion or cougar. The cub, which is about 4 to 6 months old, was taken there after he was treated in Ashland.
“This is a wonderful example of Nebraska zoos, AZA programs and government agencies working together to quickly provide a home for an animal that would have likely died in the wild,” said Anthony Mason, executive director of Riverside Discovery Center.
Visitors can see the cub at the Discovery Center. He will move to his permanent home at the center’s cat complex when he reaches an appropriate size.