A tired and thin female mountain lion cub was plucked from a beach in Montaña de Oro State Park on Monday afternoon by state and local officials.
The 6-month-old, 25-pound mountain lion was reported to State Parks on Sunday afternoon by someone who said they saw her in the water near a cove, said Jared Strouss, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Strouss spotted the mountain lion about 4 p.m. Sunday, sitting on some rocks about a mile south of Islay Creek and a half mile north of the Point Buchon Trail.
“I don’t know if she fell in, but when I saw her she was sunning herself, and I wanted to give her time to get back up and into the wild on her own,” he said. “Sometimes it’s better to back off, and they (the animals) will find their way out, but it didn’t work that way this time.”
After some discussion and in consultation with Fish and Wildlife biologist Bob Stafford, officials decided to rescue the mountain lion about 1 p.m. Monday, Strouss said.
On Monday, the animal was seen on the beach, occasionally moving around on the sand, he said.
“She should have been able to get up,” Strouss said. “Lions climb very well.”
Stafford and a Cal Fire firefighter initially intended to tranquilize the mountain lion, but didn’t need to, Strouss said. The animal was lifted from the cove and evaluated.
“She’s a little tired from where she was at, but she was in pretty good shape,” he said. “We gave her some fluids and antibiotics, and she is on her way to a wildlife lab in Sacramento.”
The mountain lion may stay there a month or more and will eventually be released back in Montaña de Oro, he said.
“I think they wanted her to have a bit more fat on her bones,” he said. “She was pretty feisty by the time we got her some fluids.”