Coming out for his morning saunter, Monte is checking out his surroundings. He lunges towards his favorite food, a coconut.
He is a 17-year-old senior citizen as far as mountain lions go. You wouldn’t know it by watching him, but Monte’s health is failing.
Monte has renal failure, meaning kidneys do not reliably function.
Monte has been at the Micke Grove Zoo for 13 years and is quite a charmer, but don’t let it fool you. He is very much a wild animal, a predator also known as a puma or cougar. In the wild, they feed mostly on deer and small animal, like squirrels. Monte was found as a cub in Monterrey County and was formally named “Monterrey.”
He was turned over to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He’s been on loan to the zoo since them. Now, the challenge is treating Monte without being invasive — keeping the big cat comfortable and living out his leisure life.