Orange County Zoo Caring for Orphaned Cougar Kittens; Plans to House Them in New Enclosure Under Construction

The two surviving cougar kittens found under a picnic bench near a Thousand Oaks office building remain under the care of veterinarians at the Orange County Zoo and will probably remain there in a new enclosure that is nearing completion, according to news reports,

The two female kittens were half of a litter of four girls found Nov. 29 under a picnic table near a Thousand Oaks office building that abuts open land. A worker at the building contacted state wildlife authorities who cooperated with federal authorities in trying to locate the mother, who never reappeared. Because she was likely dead or had abandoned her litter the biologists moved in December 2 as the kittens, believed to be about 6 weeks old, were weakening. Two of the girls died overnight and their sisters were taken to the Orange County Zoo.

Photo of two cougar kittens found in Thousand Oaks under care at Orange County Zoo. KTLA photo credited to Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner.

Their soon-to-be home is part of a zoo improvement package approved by Orange County supervisors in 2019. The new enclosure is a two acre space in the zoo that is expected to be a state-of-the-art living space that will seek to provide the animals with as natural an environment as possible.

In a statement County Supervisor Donald P. Wagner said:

“OC Parks and I are thrilled to welcome these newest residents of our zoo,” said Supervisor Wagner after meeting the two cats. “They’re a great present to the people of Orange County this holiday season.” Wagner continued, “Once they’re a bit more comfortable in their new home, and our large mammal enclosure is ready for them early next year, we’ll introduce Orange County’s newest stars to what I am sure will be their adoring public.”

No formal date for the opening was given, but it was said to be “early next year.” The Orange County Zoo may be a good fit for the orphans because, according to county officials:

“The OC Zoo, inside Irvine Regional Park, focuses on animals native to the southwestern U.S., including black bear, mountain lion, eagle, beaver, porcupine, bobcat and more. Many are injured, orphaned, confiscated or not releasable into the wild.”

The zoo occupies about eight acres of the nearly 500 acre wilderness park.

The Orange County Zoo, home to the kittens rescued from Thousand Oaks, sits on eight acres in the 500 acre wilderness park., Here are some trails within the park.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

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