Wyoming Mountian Lion Will Mentor Orphaned Cubs In Colorado
In 2006, four orphaned mountain lion cubs were rescued in Wyoming and sent to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. Now, the last of those surviving cats, Kaya, may help mentor a new litter of orphaned cubs.
Wildlife officers found Kaya and her three brothers, Motego, Tocho, and Yuma, shortly after their mother had died near Yellowstone National Park. Without their mother, the cubs would have not have survived in the wild. 13 years later, zookeepers are hopeful that Kaya will welcome the two females and one male cub, who faced a similar predicament before they were recently rescued in Washington.
"We’re hoping Kaya, who is blind and aging, will enjoy having company again,” Zookeeper Rebecca Zwicker told 9 News. “It would be ideal if they could live together because the cubs can learn how to be mountain lions from Kaya."
Along with the new cubs, Kaya is now the only mountain lion in the zoo's Rocky Mountian Wild exhibit which also features bears, moose, otters, wolves and other animals indigenous to the region. Her brothers have all passed away in recent years. At nearly 14, Kaya has lived longer than most mountain lions, who typically have a lifespan of 8 to 13 years in the wild.