Cat family - Felidae
A member of this family is called a felid. Felids are the strictest carnivores of the sixteen mammal families in the order Carnivora. The most familiar felid is the Domestic Cat, which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago, but the family includes all other wild cats including the big cats.
Echo - Cougar
Weight: 80 lbs.
Handsome Echo was a “confiscation case” in Arizona and came to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary through Southwest Wildlife Rescue in fall 2012. If you look carefully, you’ll see that Echo’s eyes are darker than the other big cats and his lower lip curls downward just a bit
Cedar - Cougar
Cedar found her way to us after being confiscated by officers from the CA Department of Fish and Game. While the details are limited, we do know that she was being illegally kept by someone in the Santa Cruz mountains.
We took her in at about 6 weeks old. She was very weak, but seemed to be in relatively good health. She was suffering from dehydration; had diarrhea and giardia and possibly ringworm. She was taken to Hazel Ridge for a physical and initial vaccines. She had her FIV/FeLV test and both were negative.
Updates from Zoo Keeper Jill and Amy
Apr 5 -Cedar is now about 7 months old and weighs about 35 lbs. In the wild, she would still be with mom and traveling with her to kill sites to eat but, mostly to play and practice “killing” their meal. It is at these sites, kittens learn how to open up a kill and what parts to eat first. Cougars use their teeth and rough tongue (called “papillae”) to pluck fur and tear open the carcass, where they ingest the nutritious internal organs before moving on to meat and muscle.
Here at the zoo, we try to provide our carnivores with natural prey items as much as possible. We feed a variety of rodents, quail and even deer. While most of the fare is purchased, we also feed out deer that have been hit by vehicles. The deer we accept is always fresh and then we freeze it for a month to ensure we eliminate any parasites before we feed it out. This type of whole carcass feeding is extremely beneficial to our captive carnivores. Not only does it meet their needs nutritionally, it satisfies many of their physical and mental requirements.
Cedar loves to play with her food before she eats it, sometimes she plays so much she gets tired and has to nap before finishing it! This is all natural and part of her growing up.
Flash - Cougar
Weight: 90 lbs.
While wild animal mothers are experts at their jobs, sometimes a youngster will become separated – or something will happen to the mother. Mountain lion Flash was several months old when found living on her own in southern California in February 2009. She came to the zoo sanctuary from the California Department of Fish & Game in June of that year
Rio - Cougar
Weight: 125 lbs.
Rio arrived at the zoo in 2008. He lived at the Nimbus California Department of Fish and Game facility for nearly a year after he was found alone, starving and covered with parasites near Weimer. People with domestic cats know that introducing a newcomer can be tricky, but over time he has been accepted by the others and is now an integral part of our feline group!
Aiko - Bobcat
DOB: September 1995
Weight: 18 lbs.
As a kitten Aiko was found with a badly deformed leg. It was determined that amputation would give her the best chance of walking. Despite her 3-legged status, she manages to get around quite well and takes no nonsense from fellow cat residents.
Blue - Canadian Bobcat
Weight: 40 lbs.
Born in captivity, Blue, a Canadian bobcat, was raised as a pet for a dozen years. His owners had a special permit to keep this unusual feline, but when Blue managed to escape, they were unable to provide the necessary facility to keep him safe. A home at the zoo sanctuary, with others of his own kind, seemed the best choice. Blue is a very vocal cat, making lots of growly sounds. He seems to be content with the other bobcat roommates and quickly found the best hammock for sunning and catnapping.
Misty - Tiger
DOB: September 2002
Weight: 251 lbs.
Misty, believed to be a cross between a Bengal and Siberian (Panthera tigris altaica x Panthera tigris tigris), was born in September 2002. Early in 2003 she was taken from an “animal rescue” business in southern California when authorities raided the facility. Misty was found in a 3-by-3 foot cage, starving and covered with mange. There were dozens of bodies of big cats on the premises and 58 tiger cub carcasses in a freezer. Eleven tiger and leopard cubs were found hidden in an attic. The owners were charged with numerous counts, including felony animal cruelty and illegal breeding.
Pouncer - Tiger
DOB: January 2003
Weight: 294 lbs.
Pouncer is thought to be a mix of the smallest tiger, Sumatran (Panthera tigris sumatrae), and the largest, Siberian (Panthera tigris tigris). As a young cub she was found tied to a 4-foot tether, starving and diseased. Rescued from this abusive situation, she was brought back to health by The Fund for Animals and arrived in Folsom in February 2004. It took no time at all for Pouncer and fellow feline, Misty, to enthusiastically make the Zoo Sanctuary home. Despite the winter cold, both tigers quickly found the pools in their exhibit and enjoyed splashing and exploring. A recent expansion, funded by donations to the Friends of the Folsom Zoo, gave these large cats even more room.
Audrey - Feral Cat
Cats with Audrey’s coloration (orange, brown, and black) are referred to as tortoiseshells (or “torties”). Cats with similar colors but including large patches of white or cream are referred to as calicoes. Almost all “torties” are female because the gene for their particular pigmentation is carried on the X chromosome.
Francesca - Feral Cat
"Tortie” cats like Audrey and Francesca are known for having “tortitude”. This involves a streak of independence and a desire for personal space. Despite the best efforts of volunteer cat spoilers, “tortitude” may explain why Audrey and Francesca remain largely aloof and untouchable.
Max - Feral Cat
Max enjoys human handling. Animal handlers who spend time with the feral cats help them to accept the presence of humans to varying degrees. Max allows brushing and loves treats (though some only from a distance). These socialization efforts make life easier for the cats, Zoo staff, and the veterinarian when medical exams are a necessity.
Jade - Feral Cat
No one believes that Jade is as grumpy as she appears. Her coloration, fur, and perennial scowl suggest some genetic relationship to the Persian cat breed. Known as gentle souls, it is said that the Persian’s look of disdain indicates its aspirations to royalty.