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An 8-week-old mountain lion cub is doing well at an Arizona Game and Fish Department facility after found being alone in a remote part of central Arizona. Residents near Cornville reported the cub to Game and Fish after seeing her alone, but people did not try to approach or interfere with the cub.
Game and Fish spokeswoman Kellie Tharp said that’s the best way to deal with baby animals found alone in the wilderness.
“And so everybody did what was right, gave it the opportunity for mom to come back,” she said. “Unfortunately, mom did not come back to retrieve this cub.”
The emaciated, orphaned cub was then caught and treated for dehydration. She’s now doing much better. Eventually, the cub will be moved to a wildlife sanctuary or park to live out her days. It’s a happy ending, but Tharp says that’s not always the case for baby animals found by humans.
“People’s desire to help baby, injured or orphaned wildlife, it’s admirable and they mean well,” she said. “Ultimately what happens is it makes it really difficult to release that animal back into the wild.”
That includes an incident earlier this year when an Arizona man found a newborn deer — and brought it to a bar. The fawn is now also in the care of Game and Fish.
Game and Fish is looking to build a new wildlife center to help care for sick and injured animals — but needs donations from the public to make it a reality. The agency has an ongoing “Be a Hero for Wildlife” donation campaign. People can give by text “CRITTER” to 41444 or visiting www.azgfd.gov/WildlifeCenter.