Monday, February 16, 2009

Gatita y Gatito

This brother and sister were found wandering a neighborhood in California (exactly where I'm not sure.) The thought was that the mother was killed and these babies were orphans and needed a safe place to grow up. Much paperwork later they arrived at the sanctuary two days before Valentines day. They were both scared and ready to get out of their crates

Curious adult mountain lions lounged nearby as Sister was wrangled out of her crate and into the lockout.

Her fear was obvious as she snarled and hissed and growled at the gathered adults. In turn, the adults sniffed and nosed the new arrival. Each adult in turn greeted the girl nose to nose. She would hiss, they would hiss, and the introduction would be over.

Brother was next.

He came out much more subservient. He immediately crouched and rolled onto his back showing his belly to the onlookers. Although he snarled and growled at them, he stayed on his back. (Yes, they look very much alike and you might wonder how I can tell them apart (and am I really just showing photos of the same cub.) Brother has a nick in his right ear and Sister's does not.)

Here Brother is giving Sister some comfort. I was so lucky to be able to watch them interact after being separated for over 24 hours. Now they will be able to grow up in a family of their own kind and really know what it means to be a mountain lion.

Unfortunately they are unable to be released into the wild. Public outcry of releasing "big, dangerous" animals back into the wild prohibits it. Apparently the Public is entirely unaware of where these babies came from.

At least they have one another, the sanctuary, and a new family.

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