Oakland Zoo Cares for Rescued Tiger Cub

Rescued female tiger receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital; Photo Credit Oakland Zoo

A rescued female tiger cub is receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

The Oakland Zoo is caring for and treating a female tiger cub rescued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The cub was rescued from a private facility where she had sustained multiple bone fractures due to malnutrition. Because the bone fractures hadn’t been treated properly at the facility, some had healed at abnormal angles.

Now in the zoo’s care, the cub was examined and given nutritional supplements and pain medication. Once her bones build up enough calcium, zoo veterinarians and surgeons will determine the next stage of treatment in her healing journey.

“Seeing this young tiger enduring such obvious suffering is extremely difficult…no animal should experience life in this way. We are grateful to serve in a role that gives her hope for brighter days ahead”, says Nik Dehejia, CEO of Oakland Zoo.

For more information, visit the Oakland Zoo website.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger; Photo Credit Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital staff performing a thorough examination of the rescued tiger. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger. Photo Credit Oakland Zoo.

Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services, and Dr. Ryan Sadler, Senior Veterinarian at Oakland Zoo, examining a CT scan of the rescued tiger. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

Rescued Manatees Returned to Wild

Manatee Release (Squirrel)

Squirrel, the manatee, on his way back to Florida waters. Photo by Amanda Carberry, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

The Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership released five orphaned manatees to Blue Spring State Park in Florida. Blue Spring State Park is home to a spring that stays a constant 22°C (72°F). These warm waters provide a refuge to hundreds of manatees during the winter months.

The five manatees had originally been rescued as calves in 2020 or 2021. Over the past few years, they were treated and rehabilitated by a partnership of organizations, including SeaWorld Orlando, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Brevard Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Save the Manatee Club.

The manatees were fitted with GPS tracking devices so their progress can be monitored.

For more information, see the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership website.

Manatee Release (Squirrel)

Squirrel, the manatee, being examined and measured before being released into the waters at Blue Spring State Park in Florida. Photo by Amanda Carberry, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

Clank the manatee

Clank, the manatee, being carried on a tarp toward the water at Blue Spring State Park in Florida. When he was rescued as a calf, he weighed 58 kg (128 lb.) He now weighs 329 kg (725 lb.). Photo by Save the Manatee Club.

Clank the manatee getting released

Clank, the manatee, getting released at Blue Spring State Park in Florida. Photo by Save the Manatee Club.

Manatees

The five orphaned manatees were released into the water at Blue Spring State Park in Florida. This spring is home to hundreds of manatees because it stays a constant 22°C (72°F). Photo by Amanda Carberry, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.

Oakland Zoo Cares for Orphaned Cougar Cubs

Orphaned cougar cub at the Oakland Zoo

Female cougar cub during an examination at Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital. Photo credit: Oakland Zoo.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife transported two cougar (or mountain lion) cubs to the Oakland Zoo for care after their mother was struck and killed by a car. Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital staff conducted thorough exams on the cubs, including virus testing, parasite treatment, and bloodwork testing. They also provided vital fluids as the cubs were underweight and dehydrated.

“Our team will be caring for the cubs daily to restore them to full health and for their overall animal wellbeing,” said Dr. Alex Herman, Oakland Zoo’s Vice President of Veterinary Services.

In the wild, cougar cubs stay with their mothers for two years to learn survival and hunting skills. Since these cubs are only 6-10 weeks old, they cannot be returned to the wild and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will find a suitable home for them in a few months.

For more information, see the Oakland Zoo’s website.

To learn more about cougars, see our Cougar article.

VIDEO: Aww! Bear Cub Cuddles

Fern and Juniper are two orphaned brown bear cubs living at Woodland Park Zoo. Juniper was found wandering around alone at an air base in Anchorage, Alaska. Fern was rescued from Montana. At Woodland Park Zoo, they have become fast friends.

Watch a video below of them playing:

To learn more about this adorable duo, see the Woodland Park Zoo website.

To learn more about grizzly bears, see our Grizzly Bear article.

Bison Return to Montana Homeland

American Bison

In a collaboration between the Blackfeet Nation, Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada, Oakland Zoo, and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), 88 bison were transferred from Elk Island to the Blackfeet Nation Reservation near Browning, Montana.

This transfer marks a truly historic occasion for the Blackfeet people, whose cultural identity is strongly wrapped up in the icon of the buffalo (or bison, as they are known scientifically).

“The Blackfeet People were a buffalo people for thousands of years,“ said Harry Barnes, Chair of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. “The buffalo provided everything the people needed in the way of food, clothing, and shelter. It provided for so much of our physical needs that it filled our spiritual needs. It connected us to our animal and plant relatives in a way nothing else could provide. The elders have long believed that until the buffalo returned, the Blackfeet would drift. We have started the return.”

In 1873, bison from the Blackfoot land were captured  and formed the “Pablo-Allard” herd. They were sold to to the Canadian government in the early 1900s. The Elk Island bison are the descendants of that herd.

“Today marks the long-awaited return of these buffalo to their original homeland,” said Ervin Carlson, Bison Program Director and President of the Intertribal Buffalo Council. “The Elk Island Buffalo originated from Blackfeet territory and their homecoming enhances the restoration of Blackfeet culture. These animals are culturally and spiritually connected to our people and I believe their homecoming will begin a healing of historical trauma to the Blackfeet people. These buffalo will begin the longstanding efforts to restore buffalo to their historical mountain front rangelands.”

To learn more about bison, see our American bison facts article.

VIDEO: Circus Mountain Lion Rescued in Peru

Mufasa, an elderly mountain lion who spent 20 years chained up in the back of a circus pick-up truck, has been rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI). He will live out the rest of his life at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve in the Amazon forest.

According to ADI President Jan Creamer, “Mufasa’s story symbolizes the suffering we have ended.  He was kept for years in chains in a truck, sleeping on metal, barely able to move. An unbearable torture. Now, in his twilight years, I hope people will help us give him back the life the circus stole from him.”

Mountain lion freed from circus truck

ADI rescues Mufasa from the back of a circus pickup truck. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

Mufasa the mountain lion

Mufasa at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve in the Amazon forest. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

If you would like to help ADI make more rescues, you can donate at their website. Learn more at www.ad-international.org/SpiritofFreedom.

33 Rescued Circus Lions Prepare for African Voyage

Lion

Coco the former circus lion was microchipped by ADI in preparation for his trip to his African forever home. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

In December, twenty-four African lions rescued from circuses in Peru and nine lions from a Colombian circus will board the biggest airlift of its kind, heading to a forever home in Africa. Rescued by Animal Defenders International (ADI), these former circus lions will live at Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo province, South Africa.

To prepare for the journey, all the lions were microchipped at ADI’s rescue center near Lima, Peru. Two of the lions were given dental surgery.

Lion receiving dental surgery.

An ADI vet performs dental surgery. Photo by Animal Defenders International.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “The lions don’t know that their lives are going to change forever – from years of suffering in circuses, they will live in natural bush enclosures under the African sun. This is like a person applying for a visa for the trip of a lifetime.”

“It is a long and complicated process to move large numbers of wild animals across international borders, especially in an operation involving three countries. We are grateful for the collaboration of officials in Peru, Colombia and South Africa to make this happen for these lions. It can only lead to stronger animal protection law enforcement in future.”

If you would like to help ADI fund Operation Spirit of Freedom, visit their website.

Learn more African lion facts at our lion article.

Book Review: The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue

The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion RescueMillions of animals around the world are held in captivity in conditions that are not ideal. One such pair of animals have their story told in The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue by Sara Starbuck.

The title lioness and lion live in two completely different worlds but are united in the fact that they both need to escape to better lives. Bella was blind, sickly, and brokenhearted at the loss of her family in the Romanian zoo in which she lived. Simba lived in a cramped backyard in France, after living his early years traveling in a circus trailer. The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue recalls the tale of the rescue and rehabilitation of these two majestic animals with the help of the Born Free Foundation.

In the book, Starbuck weaves the stories of Bella and Simba in alternating chapters to keep the reader captivated. Each chapter focuses on a part of the lions’ rescue and is written in a friendly, easy-to-read way. The text is accompanied by vivid, full-color photographs of the animals and rescue volunteers.

Interspersed throughout the book are fascinating facts about lions — everything from how their claws grow to why they have a tassel on their tail. In this way, readers learn not only about the plight of Bella and Simba but about lions in general.

The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue is a great read for anyone who loves animals, rescue stories, and happy endings. It is fit for young readers both in content and in ease of reading.

The True Story of Bella & Simba: Lion Rescue is published by Hachette Children’s Books. It is part of a series of non-fiction books featuring the rescue operations of the Born Free charity.

Learn more at Hachette Children’s Books.