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Mountain Lions or Pumas are adorable as cubs, but don’t let that cute kitten appearance fool you! At just six weeks old, they have a formidable growl with claws and fangs to match. It doesn’t take long before it would be unwise for anybody to get too close.

Nevertheless, when mountain lion cubs show their ferocity, their rescuers at the Oakland Zoo explain it’s most welcome.

The Fiercest Grrrreetings From Orphaned Mountain Lion Cubs

For a Throwback Thursday post, the Oakland Zoo looked back at rescued Mountain Lion cubs from recent years. Sisters Maple and Willow, along with Rose and Holly, gave it their all to scare everyone soon after they arrived. Of course, they didn’t know the rescuers only wanted to rehabilitate them so they could find forever homes.

“TBT to the recurring display of ferocity that rescued mountain lion cubs exhibit early in the rescue process,” the zoo shared.

Which Cub is the Fiercest?

On social media, many voted for the cub that was the fiercest of them all. As the zoo explained, seeing this behavior from new rescues is highly desirable.

“This positive sight indicates the cubs have energy to improve, and as their bonds with vets grow, behaviors like this dissipate. Who do you think was the most fierce?” the Zoo asked.

As they tried to survive in California, the cubs all faced many obstacles. For example, while fighting for survival alone, Holly’s teeth were badly chipped. Without direct intervention, they would have no chance to live. But given a sanctuary, they will live out their lives with constant care. Sadly, they can’t return to the wild again after losing their mothers at such a young age.

Video by the Oakland Zoo

A Happy Future for Mountain Lion Cubs Willow and Maple

The adorable sisters, Willow and Maple, lost their mama at 6-10 weeks old. Sadly, their mother was hit by a car around the city of Burlingame. In the case of the other orphans, their mothers may have been lost to “depredation killing,” even though these animals face an uncertain future.

The Oakland Zoo, Mountain Lion cubs, Orphaned Mountain Lions, growls, Willow and Maple, Rose and Holly, rescued mountain lions from California, 4

Image via Oakland Zoo of Willow and Maple

Flash forward to today, and Maple and Willow were recently playing on the CubCam. As you can see, they’re doing great as they prepare to head to their new” furr-ever home” together.

“As spring weather ramps up, so has Maple and Willow’s energy. Previously cautious exploration is now rounds of leaps, slams, and wrestles,” they shared.

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Maple and Willow play as they prepare for a new home soon.

Video by Oakland Zoo featuring Maple and Willow:

Rose and Holly’s Bright Future 

In April 2022, hikers spotted an emaciated Rose in San Mateo. She was four or five months old and wasn’t able to find nearly enough nourishment on her own. Judging by the picture below, you can see why the caretakers at the zoo were thrilled to see Rose give them such a growly greeting!

The Oakland Zoo, Mountain Lion cubs, Orphaned Mountain Lions, growls, Willow and Maple, Rose and Holly, rescued mountain lions from California, 7

Rose when they first discovered her outside.

Later in December, Holly was saved at 3-4 months near Boulder Creek and also in critical condition.

“They could not be re-wilded, as mountain lion cubs must train with their mother for the first full two years of their lives in order to compete in the wild,” the Zoo website explained.

The Oakland Zoo, Mountain Lion cubs, Orphaned Mountain Lions, growls, Willow and Maple, Rose and Holly, rescued mountain lions from California, 3

Holly giving her ‘big girl growl.’

Holly’s ‘Big Girl Growl’

Here’s another example of Holly showing off her “Big Girl Growl.”

“Holly, with the fierceness! This mountain lion behavior is exactly the kind we want to see,” explained the Zoo in December 2022.

Video via Facebook/The Oakland Zoo

Despite being in critical condition, the cubs all made a full recovery. Holly joined a new friend, Hazel. Wonderfully, both found their home at Big Bear Alpine Zoo in Southern California. Meanwhile, Rose joined a companion, Sage, and both found their home at The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

You might catch a glimpse of the Mountain Lion cubs on the Zoo’s Mountain Lion Rescue Cam. See more on the Oakland Zoo’s Facebook and Instagram.

Video about Holly and Hazel by Oakland Zoo:

 

 

 

 

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