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Local & Regional

Mountain lion Willow dies at CALM

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A mountain lion that came to the California Living Museum in 2010 as the sole survivor of a litter of three abandoned cubs has died.

According to CALM's curator, it appears Willow's death was a tragic accident.

"...Perhaps she fell on something while she was playing with Sage (CALM's other mountain lion)," said Don Richardson. 

Willow was just over 3 years old.

CALM staff noticed she was having trouble breathing early Friday when she died suddenly.

"A small puncture wound entered the chest cavity causing bleeding into the chest," said CALM's veterinarian Dr. Thomas Willis. The bleeding caused the breathing difficulty and death.

While the death is under investigation, the wound was so small that CALM staff said its cause may never be known. 

CALM only exhibits animals that have been injured or orphaned and cannot survive in their native habitat. CALM is making it known through the network of zoos that it is able to take another mountain lion, should an injured or orphaned animal become available. Especially since mountain lions should be housed in pairs when possible.

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