Two orphaned pumas join the team at The Living Desert Zoo
Two young mountain lions join the team at The Living Desert, including one who made headlines when he entered a Northern California school earlier this summer.
The two mountain lions – Rose and Sage – are from the Oakland Zoo and will arrive in Palm Desert later this week, according to a social media post from The Living Desert on Tuesday.
“Rescued separately as unrelated little orphans, Rose and Sage have earned a place in the hearts of many as the animal care and veterinary team at the Oakland Zoo heroically cared for these mountain lions. over the past five months,” the post read.
Sage has already had at least 15 minutes of fame. In June, a caretaker at Pescadero High School in Northern California found and confined the mountain lion to an empty classroom.
A San Mateo County Sheriff’s Detective said at the time that Sage, estimated to be around 40 pounds, appeared “lost and scared.”
Sage was then taken to the Oakland Zoo, where he was rehabilitated. The puma is now in good health, with an estimated age of 9 to 11 months.
After:A cougar walked into a classroom in California. It was ‘there for lodging’, officials say
After:Meet Jaali and Nia: Two Rhinos in a $17 Million New Habitat at the Living Desert
Rose, the other puma coming to The Living Desert, was first spotted by hikers in San Mateo and picked up by California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.
“Orphaned, emaciated and malnourished, she was brought to the Oakland Zoo in April 2022 where she received critical veterinary care,” The Living Desert said in its article. “Today is a healthy mountain lion cub estimated to be around 9-10 months old.”
During their rehabilitation at the Oakland Zoo, Rose and Sage were paired up as a companion (non-breeding) couple – and they will remain together after arriving at The Living Desert, according to the zoo’s social media post.
“As they get used to their new surroundings and build a relationship with their animal care team, they will spend time behind the scenes at the zoo,” the zoo said. “Once they’re comfortable, Rose and Sage will be introduced to the Eagle Canyon Mountain Lion Habitat. Stay tuned for more!”
It’s unclear exactly when Rose and Sage will be in the habitat, but Erin Scott, spokesperson for The Living Desert, estimated it would be around a week after their arrival.
The arrival of Sage and Rose will mark the second notable new couple at The Living Desert in as many years. Last fall, the zoo welcomed Jaali and Nia – two African black rhinos – as the stars of its new $17 million Rhino Savannah.
The Living Desert’s carousel and hiking trails are also set to reopen Oct. 1 when fall hours resume.
Tom Coulter covers the cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @tomcoulter_.