Twin mountain lion cubs orphaned by Zogg fire find refuge at Oakland Zoo


Two mountain lion cubs left orphaned by a Shasta County wildfire have found refuge at the Oakland Zoo.

Officials said that both seem to be in good health and that the zoo “will give them a loving temporary home here at the hospital until a more permanent home can be found.”

The pair can be seen on video flashing their brilliant eyes and periodically baring their tiny teeth while being examined by veterinary staff.


The female cubs, estimated to be about 5 weeks old, lost their mother to the Zogg fire, which ignited Sept. 27 about nine miles southwest of Redding.

They are the second and third kittens orphaned by the fire to come to the zoo. The other — a male officials named Capt. Cal — arrived Sept. 30.

In a statement Saturday, zoo officials said they “plan to introduce these two lil’ ladies to Capt. Cal, so they all can have some mountain lion interaction and some friends.”

Capt. Cal was rescued by firefighters with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and is named after the department’s mascot.

Unlike the newest arrivals, Capt. Cal didn’t make it through the fire unscathed. He suffered severe burns — particularly to his paws — his whiskers were singed off and his eyes were significantly irritated.


The baby, who is about 4 to 6 weeks old and was dubbed Capt. Cal, is recovering at the Oakland Zoo.

Oct. 2, 2020

However, zoo officials said that there was no damage to his bones or lungs and that he “remains alert and active, and has a great appetite.”

“Our dedicated team at Oakland Zoo is fully committed to do everything we can for him and for his beautiful species,” Alex Herman, director of the zoo’s veterinary hospital, said in a statement earlier this month.

The Zogg fire has burned more than 56,000 acres and was 99% contained as of Tuesday. It is one of the dozens of major blazes that have erupted throughout California this year.

To date, more than 8,500 wildfires have burned over 4.1 million acres statewide, according to Cal Fire.

Combined, those conflagrations have destroyed more than 9,200 structures and killed 31 people — including four in the Zogg fire.