Orphaned mountain lion kitten rescued and safe

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Tucson, AZ (KPHO) — An orphaned mountain lion kitten that was rescued in the Tucson area Wednesday is now safe at the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.

When the little lion was found near Sells, she was severely malnourished. Officials say she weighed only 13 pounds, when she should weigh closer to 30 pounds.

The kitten’s deceased sibling was located nearby, and the mother lion was nowhere to be found. Based on the condition of the surviving kitten, Tohono O’odham Animal Control believed that both animals had been orphaned.

Animal Control called Game and Fish Dispatch, and staff from Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center met them in Casa Grande, and transported the female kitten to the Game and Fish Facility in North Phoenix.

Game and Fish Wildlife Health Specialist Anne Justice-Allen evaluated the kitten, drew blood for testing and administered fluids. The young lion still has her baby teeth and is approximately 6 months old, severely emaciated and dehydrated.

Amy Burnett with the Arizona Game & Fish Department gave us the latest update on the kitten Thursday.

She says based on the kitten’s physical condition, it appears that she has been away from her mom for a while. And at this age, the youngsters should still be with their mom learning how to hunt.

The mountain lion kitten will be cared for at Adobe Mountain Wildlife while she puts on weight and recovers from her ordeal.

“We hope for a full recovery,” says Burnett.