Oklahoma City Zoo gives home to orphaned mountain lion cubs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A litter of orphaned mountain lion cubs has found a new home at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

In late January, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden received three 9-week-old mountain lion cubs.

Officials say the cubs were found by game wardens with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Once game wardens realized the cubs’ mother was dead and that they were too young to survive on their own, they immediately began providing care to the cubs.

The Oklahoma City Zoo heard about the cubs’ situation, and offered to take in the litter. The zoo will take in two male cubs, and a female cub. However, the female cub will eventually be relocated to another zoo in Waco this summer.

“By bringing these orphaned cubs to the OKC Zoo and providing them with the care, veterinary monitoring and enriching environment needed to thrive we are ensuring their survival.” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo animal curator. “Since it opened in 2007, Oklahoma Trails has been home to mountain lions, and we are excited to watch these brothers grow and become beloved ambassadors for the habitat. We want to connect our guests to the importance of caring for native wildlife and wild places, and communicate why it’s vital to protect both.”

All three mountain lion cubs are healthy, extremely energetic and weigh about 10 pounds each.

The males have been named Toho, which means ‘cougar god,’ and Tanka, meaning ‘great spirit’ in the Lakota language. The female is named Tawakoni, which is inspired by the Wichita tribe whose name means ‘river bend among red sand hills.’

Once the cubs complete their 30-day quarantine, they will be on public view.

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