Ventura County

Mountain lion cub burned in the Thomas Fire recovering 'remarkably well'

Sterilized tilapia fish skin treatment being used

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - A mountain lion cub burned during the Thomas Fire is recovering from his injuries "remarkably well," the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said on their Facebook page Friday.

The cub was found on Dec. 22 in Santa Paula with burn injuries to the pads of all four of its feet, and was taken to the department's Wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordoba for medical treatment.

Dr. Jamie Peyton with the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching School has been assisting Fish and Wildlife officials with the care and treatment of the cub. They're using sterilized tilapia fish skin, a treatment extensively used in Brazil to speed up healing on burn victims, on the young cub.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife's Facebook page says the sterilized tilapia treatment is being applied to the cub's most severe injuries. The treatment "creates a biological bandage to protect the burn area and provides collagen to help speed healing," the post says.

The cub is expected to recover. Although the cub's long-term future is uncertain due to its young age and damaged habitat, for the time being, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will place the cat in captivity while medical treatment continues.


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