Questions over the future of orphaned mountain lion that was found near Cornville

It's a video that is melting hearts across the state. A baby mountain lion that was apparently orphaned north of the Valley.

Now, the question is what's next.

Timid and terrified, an eight-week-old mountain lion cub is cautiously exploring her new surroundings at Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, north of the Valley.

The cub was first spotted in Cornville about a month ago. Her mom was nowhere in sight. Residents who saw her on their porches or in their driveways for weeks did the right thing.

"The initial response from citizens that found her, they left her alone, gave the opportunity for mom to come back and take care of her, which would have been the ideal situation," said Kellie Tharp with Arizona Game & Fish.

The Runnin' W Wildlife Center in Cornville stepped in and called Game & Fish last Friday, when it became apparent the cub was starting to struggle physically.

"It was badly dehydrated, scared, underweight, so we gave it fluids and got it on formula," said Billie Harvey with the Runnin' W Wildlife Center in Cornville.

The cub is about 8 lbs, and is starting to thrive. However, she will not be returned to the wild.

According to Game & Fish officials, mountain lion cubs spend a year or more with their mom learning critical survival skills. At this young age, she likely couldn't survive on her own.

"We're looking for a licensed zoo or sanctuary where she can live her years out in captivity since she is non-releasable, and we're going to figure that out over next week, week and a half, and once shes healthy, we will transfer her," said Tharp.

Arizona Game & Fish Dept. - Mountain Lion
To donate:
Or text CRITTER to 41444