On Valentines Day, at 5:17 in the afternoon,Animal Rescue Team, Inc.'s 24/7 wildlife rescue hotline received a call that a sick and injured bobcat was in need of help at Sycamore Valley Ranch on Figueroa Mountain Road.
Julia Di Sieno, founder of Animal Rescue Team, describes the scene: "Upon our arrival we discovered a young starving mountain lion with spots, missing most of the tail. Bone was showing. And although we estimated a weight of no more than 14 pounds the lion should have weighed much more given its age. It was hiding underneath a car, and so weak it was very easy to contain."
The sedation and capture took nearly 6 hours and was ultimately successful. He was finally taken to a wildlife veterinarian for emergency care.
Following the incident, the ranch owner took the time thank the Animal Rescue Team for taking the lead in coordinating the medical evacuation.
"ART is happy with the CDFW biologist's final decision in saving this guy from further suffering," said Julia, "and, we enjoyed every moment helping."
Following up on Tuesday, Julia revealed that "we learned the lion has survived capturing and treatment, but he has a very long road to recovery."
On February 19, Mountain Lion Foundation learned that the young lion had died. We have little additional information. Fewer than 50% of lions make it to their first birthdays, a fact of nature, inescapable. When injured, sick or orphaned wild animals seek shelter in human inhabited areas, we are glad to see organizations like Animal Rescue Team, and wildlife veterinarians, available to make well informed decisions for the animal's future.
Animal Rescue Team is located in Santa Ynez, California, and provides quality animal rescue, treatment, rehabilitation, and release to sick, injured, orphaned and displaced animals in accordance with current standards in the field.
During the Jesusita Fire ART. rescued over 200 animals, wild and domestic, working with police and fire officials to get wild animals the help
Julia di Sieno has long worked to provide Mountain Lion Foundation with good information about best practices in rescue and rehabilitation, and also works closely with CDFW to respond to sick, orphaned, or injured mountain lions in her area.
Generally, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not do wildlife rehabilitation. The Department licenses properly trained and experienced wildlife rehabilitators like Julia, who do the actual work.
Wildlife rehabilitators rescue ill, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back to the wild. Most wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers who must pay for permits, cages, food, and veterinary care. ART receives no money or compensation from the state or federal governments to care for these animals.
In 2009, Julia rescued two orphaned mountain lion kittens in Solvang, and nearly got jailed for her good deed. That story is told at The Day the Safety Net Failed.
Under current California law and policy, only CDFW may treat and transport injured, orphaned or sick mountain lions. The majority of these end up in zoos or sanctuaries. Often, kittens are found dehydrated and malnourished following the loss of their mothers.
As if it were not enough to care for wildlife injured in her region, Julia has also doggedly pursued changes in policy related to the rapid proliferation of vineyards in parts of California, and the impact of vineyards on wildlife.
Few people realize that hundreds of deer are killed each year for "depredating" on grapes, and that some vineyard operators are unwilling to take steps to keep deer from entering, preferring to allow farm workers to kill the deer and take the meat for payment. Often, diminishing deer herds are blamed on local predators like mountain lions and coyotes, who have also been forced out of habitat by new vineyard operations.
For more information about how to support the Animal Rescue Team, Inc. visit their website or their Facebook page.
Young male mountain lion awaits the arrival of authorities.