TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Three mountain lion kittens found orphaned in southern Idaho now have new homes in zoos. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said the little lions had been found in January, two in the Wood River Valley and one in the Magic Valley, when their mothers could not be found.

Wildlife officials said they made sure the mother lions did not come back before the kittens were captured and cared for until better homes could be found for them.

According to Regional Wildlife Biologist Sierra Robatcek in a prepared statement, “the decision to trap these young mountain lions was necessary because they were too young to forage and live on their own without a female lion. Mountain lion kittens typically stay with the female for 12 – 18 months.” She added, “It is extremely difficult to find facilities that will accept wildlife, like these three young mountain lions. The Department was very pleased that these two facilities were able to accept the kittens and place them within their wildlife exhibit spaces.”

One of the lion kittens was found near Murtaugh in a farm field after being treed by dogs. The other two kittens were found in a Hailey neighborhood and trapped when the mother did not return. The mountain lion found in Murtaugh is now at a El Paso, Texas zoo while the two found in the Wood River Valley are at a zoo in San Diego California.

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