Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Two Orphaned Puma Siblings

Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Two Orphaned Puma Siblings

Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Two Orphaned Puma Siblings

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Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia Zoo Welcomes Two Orphaned Puma Siblings — Philadelphia Zoo is proud to announce the public debut of its rescued puma cubs, Elbroch and Olympia, now estimated to be 24-25 weeks old. Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife experts rescued the cubs in Kalama and flew them to the Philadelphia Zoo as their new, permanent home in June.

Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Orphaned Puma Siblings to Big Cat Falls

In honor of their public debut, the Zoo hosts a Big Cat Weekend on Saturday, September 23, and Sunday, September 24.  Guests and members are invited to connect with our Conservation Education team for a variety of activities, including designing enrichment for big cats, acting like a scientist by choosing names for pumas if they were discovered in the wild, sampling scents that cats love, and learning why scents are an essential part of their daily care. All activities are included with the price of a visit to the Philadelphia Zoo.

“Part of our mission at the Zoo is to connect people with animals to inspire action for wildlife and habitats,” says Vice President of Animal Well-Being Rachel Metz. “We hope that all the guests who meet our puma cubs will learn their story and understand the importance of preserving wild places so that humans and wildlife can thrive together.”

Before their arrival, wildlife veterinarians in Washington determined the cubs were 30-40% underweight for their developmental age. The Zoo’s veterinary team provided customized care that included a specialized dietary plan designed by our animal nutritionist, physical exams, blood work, cardiac and abdominal ultrasound exams, and necessary vaccines.

Pumas have over 200 names because they inhabit the most prominent geographical region of any other cat in the world, from Alaska to Chile. Other names for them include cougar, mountain lion, and panther. They are classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) but still face threats in the wild, including habitat loss and fragmentation, road mortality, and disease.

This pair is not the first orphaned pumas Philadelphia Zoo has cared for - Dakota, Sage & Cinnabar came to us in 2005 after being orphaned in South Dakota, but all three have since passed away from age-related causes. We hope Elbroch & Olympia will have long lives here at Philadelphia Zoo!

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