Out of the ashes of California's recent mega-fires, a little miracle emerged.
Last week, Bobbie Carne and her fellow animal rescuers were saving abandoned pets and livestock along the edges of the Butte fire. During their search she and a couple young girls came across a slightly scorched mountain lion kitten.
Allowing itself to be picked up and removed from danger, the frightened animal was sent to a wildlife care center near the Central Valley community of Turlock and eventually passed on to a California Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) warden for delivery to the Department's Wildlife Investigation Laboratory for a medical evaluation.
While the Mountain Lion Foundation is grateful to Ms. Carne for saving this lion kitten's life, we want to caution others about following her example.
First, mountain lion kittens are not necessarily sweet cuddly pets. While it didn't happen in this case, picking one up could expose you to the possibility of being bitten or scratched.
Second, while this kitten is alive, it will now spend the rest of its life as a captive animal. It's not the current policy of CDFW to rehabilitate and release mountain lion kittens that are too young to survive on their own.
Third, though there apparently was no sign of a mother lion or siblings in the immediate vicinity, it's not uncommon for the mother of a kitten of this age to be roaming far from the den in search of food. It's possible that the mother lion did return to find her kitten gone.
Remember, it's important to do everything possible to keep California's wildlife in the wild.
That said . . . . Thank you Bobbie Carne, and helpers! And good luck Fireclaw.