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Mountain lion kitten’s captivity serves a purpose

WILDLIFE — A three-week-old mountain lion kitten orphaned in northeastern Washington is headed for a zoo, and that's not all bad, state Fish and Wildlife Department officials say.

 “Education is important at American Zoological Association-accredited zoos, which have on-site staff to teach visitors about the natural history of these critters,” said department cougar specialist Rich Beausoleil.

He said the kitten will be transported to ZooAmerica in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which has a reputation for good, natural facilities and education.

The kitten found this week in the Kettle Falls area will join the other 32 cougar kittens from Washington that have been rescued over the past 12 years and placed to live out captive lives.

But think of it this way.   These mountain lions are in facilities in urban areas where they’re seen each year by a total of 17 million people.

“These are people who get a chance to learn something about a critter they’d never otherwise see,” said Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman in Spokane.

Rarely are deer fawns abandoned; leave them be

WILDLIFE — “I found this fawn all by itself and want to know what to do with it?” 

It happens every spring and the calls are coming in to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department offices fast and furious this week, says Madonna Luers, department spokeswoman in Spokane.

“Please help us convey the usual messages about leaving baby wildlife, including fawns, in the wild where they belong because their mothers will be looking for them where they left them,” she said.

Does might leave their faws eight hours or more between feedings.

Some fawns already have been picked up and deposited with wildlife rehabbers, including Otis Orchards veterinarian Jerry Ponti, who tends to end up with a small “herd” each year. Even rehabilitated fawns have reduced chances of surviving well after being reintroduced to the wild.

The photo is from the WDFW online Image Gallery submitted by Laura Rogers, who made the shot a couple years ago at this time north of Colville. She calls it “I’m Not An Orphan!”