Mountain lion with fractured jaw in habitat at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center. The cougar is sitting on hay.
(Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society)

Mountain Lion Rehabilitated & Returned to Wild in California

On March 4, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) brought a mountain lion with a fractured jaw to the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center. The adult male mountain lion was injured after being hit by a car. Fortunately, he has been rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

Mountain lion with fractured jaw recovers after rehabilitating at San Diego Humane Society

After rehabilitating at the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center, a mountain lion recovered from his jaw fracture. The big cat spent two months in recovery. CDFW safely released him back to the wild on May 1. Moreover, before CDFW released the adult male cougar, they fitted him with a GPS collar to track his movements.

The mountain lion was first diagnosed at an emergency vet clinic in Salinas, California. Then, CDFW brought him to the Ramona Wildlife Center, which helped repair his jaw injury and address his wounds. The cougar had road rash injuries, along with his fractured jaw and broken canine tooth. With the help of dental consultants, San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife team also executed a root canal to help with his broken tooth.

The mountain lion’s rehabilitation wasn’t smooth, as he had to be administered pain medication. The San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife team also had to watch him closely using video cameras. This was to make sure the cougar was moving around and eating. These observations played a vital role before the big cat was deemed safe to be released back into the wild.

On May 1, the mountain lion finally got the clearance to be returned to the wild. San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center‘s campus director Andy Blue exclaimed, “It’s a remarkable sight to see this majestic animal return to his rightful place in the wild.” He also noted that they had to gather several specialists, like the state’s biologists, their vet team, and wildlife rehab specialists, to help with the mountain lion’s rehabilitation.

Blue also highlighted that at least one to two mountain lions die each week due to car accidents in California. Rodenticides and wildfires are some of the other leading causes of mountain lions’ deaths.

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