Nicole is only the beginning of our work with mountain lions.

June 2016
One Small Cougar, One Giant Leap for SCWR
By Executive Director Doris Duncan

Animal Care Director Danielle Mattos gives Nicole a check-up. 
One afternoon, I received an unexpected call from Nicole Carion, Senior Environmental Scientist of the Wildlife Investigations Lab of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A mother mountain lion and two kittens had been seen in an area near Trinity Center. Then, a lone kitten was seen alone for a few days. A concerned member of the public rescued the kitten and took her to the nearest wildlife center. The kitten  was only eight w eeks old, about the size of a large domestic cat. 

This kitten was critically ill and the Department of Fish and Wildlife wished to transfer her to us. We were very honored that the department felt that we had the facilities and the experience necessary to work with a mountain lion cub.

Too ill to go outside at first, Nicole finds comfort in a large stuffed tiger companion.
When she came into our care, she wasn't eating or eliminating. It turned out her colon was blocked. Our veterinarian, Dr.Dan Famini, and Department of Fish and Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Deana Clifford worked on her for hours and were finally able to clear her impacted intestines. It was almost a month before we announced that we had her, because we were so worried that she might not make it. When we thought she would live, we named her Nicole.

Nicole began to eat, recover, and grow. Now, at five months old, she is the size of a medium dog. She has a lot of growing to do. She needs to grow into her role as an education ambassador. However, she's not the only one growing.

Nicole rests in her temporary outdoor enclosure.
The laws in California have changed. In the past, wild mountain lions were not allowed to be rehabilitated. In 2013, it became legal for mountain lions to be rehabilitated. However, a critical component of the success of a future mountain lion rehabilitation program is knowledge of the species that can only be gained through direct experience.

Our work with Nicole will give us valuable experience that we hope to use to rehabilitate and release wild mountain lions in the future. We need apex predators in our environment to manage the ecosystems we live in and love. At the same time as Nicole is learning to be an education ambassador, we are learning from her the skills and techniques that may enable us to heal wild mountain lions and return them back where they belong.  

We thank you for your support as we embark on this incredible journey with Nicole. 

Sincerely yours,

Doris Duncan
Executive Director
Habitat Construction

Our existing enclosure
For Nicole to have a suitable habitat for her work as an Educational Ambassador, the mountain lion habitat needs $6,000 worth of renovations. Assistant Animal Care Director Katie Woolery tells us more:

Nicole's new enclosure is going to be upgraded in several ways. Most excitingly there will be 5 large platforms in a tiered pyramid style. They will be wide enough apart to display her exceptional leaping skills, and large enough to accommodate her well-crafted napping skills. We hope to use these to display to the public the grace and power of the mountain lion at tour time.

Along with the new platforms we are moving the existing large tree trunks in various ways. The large platform at the back of the enclosure will remain as an excellent napping and eating spot.
The safety holding section of the enclosure will be redone to incorporate a narrow hallway, which will enable us to draw blood, give vaccines, and administer flea vaccines in a manner safe to both the lion and the staff.The hallway will also include a break-away carrier which we can use to transport her in in case of an emergency or for her yearly check-up at the vet.

These improvements are necessary to improve the safety of those working with Nicole, as well as to provide Nicole with a comfortable and exciting environment in which we can attend to her needs with minimal stress to her.   Click here to donate for her enclosure.

It's All About that Face

Nicole watches humans from her crate.
Can't get enough pictures of Nicole? Want to be up to date with exciting developments at the wildlife rescue? Join us on Facebook! We're excited to have made over 3,000 friends, but we'd love to add you to the list. These days we're putting in extra effort to connect with our supporters worldwide, so to get that little puma face on your newsfeed, "like" SCWR on Facebook. Click here. It's that easy.

Amazon Smile
When you #StartWithaSmile on #PrimeDay, July 12th, 2016, Amazon donates to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Shop for great deals here.

Upcoming Events


8/06/16 Family Forest Movie Night- Meet the Coywolf 5pm-7pm 
8/13/16 New Volunteer Orientation,  10am-12 noon
8/20/16 Policies and Regulations,  10am-12 noon
8/27/16 Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation,  10am-12 noon
Visit Us!
Tours are on SaturdaysMay-September at 12PM and 2PM, 
October-April at  2PM only. Hope to see you here. 

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