A male mountain lion cub approximately three weeks old was found September 30th by a firefighter in the Zogg Fire area, near Redding. (See file for the approximate outline of the fire.) The cub had burns to its paws, singed fur and some apparent eye damage. He was taken to the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital, a drive of about five hours south in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Here is an update today (4 October) for the little guy's condition...
The fire season of 2020 has, so far, been the worst in history for California and nearly as bad in Oregon. Washington state has also had large fires this year. Fire season in the Western US used to be proclaimed from October to about the end of November. Now, it begins in spring and lasts until the snow starts, which could be December.
NASA's Earth Observatory has amazing satellite photos of Western fires from June 16th to October 3rd this year. Most were started by lightning storms and some were human-caused. Only a few of the latter were arson. Every year, untold numbers of wildlife are injured or killed, but entire ecosystems are threatened.
[From Science Magazine] Ecologists fear the wildfires also could inflict lasting damage on species and ecosystems. In particular, they worry the loss of habitat could imperil species with small populations or restricted ranges, and that incinerated ecosystems will fail to rebound in a warming climate, leading to permanent landscape changes. “We are in unchartered territory here, and we just don’t know how resilient species and ecosystems will be to wildfires of the magnitude, frequency, and intensity that we are currently experiencing in the U.S. West,” says S. Mažeika Patricio Sullivan, an ecologist at the Ohio State University, Columbus.
At least one cub is saved, but it is likely that many more species have been injured or killed in the Western US 2020 fire season.
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. - W.H. Davies, from "Leisure"
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