/ Modified may 29, 2013 5:03 p.m.

60-Year-Old Desert Museum Keeps It Fresh

Mountain lion cub on exhibit after rescue from California


The Arizona Sonora-Desert Museum is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and one of the highlights is a new mountain lion cub for its exhibit.

The museum is now home to a 5-month-old mountain lion cub that was rescued from a residential area in San Jose, California.

Stephane Poulin, the museum's general curator, said the cub was found when about three months old. The cub was underweight at 15 pounds, but has more than doubled in size in two months.

Poulin said most mountain lion cubs never leave their mothers' sides until they are at least a year old.

The Desert Museum sought out the cub, looking to give an animal in need a new home.

Shawnee Riplog-Peterson, curator of mammology and ornithology at the museum, said the cub could not be released into the wild because it may not be able to fend for itself.

While still a little shy, the cub is on exhibit. Poulin said the little animal has been acclimated to its new home and is starting to understand the glass enclosure allowing people to see it..

“We’re hoping he will want to stay up there and interact with the public,” Poulin said.

Riplog-Peterson said two older mountain lions that once inhabited the exhibit are moving to an area that is more appropriate for animals their age.

Ashley Grove is a journalism student and an intern for Arizona Public Media.

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