CORNVILLE, Ariz. - Arizona Game and Fish Department has a new resident for the time being: an 8-week-old mountain lion cub.
The cub was spotted alone in Cornville, Arizona and reported on three separate occasions, Arizona Game and Fish said in a release.
"Each time, the reporting residents did the right thing, leaving the animal alone, because the mother of a young animal is typically nearby," the department wrote.
Two weeks went by, and her mom never returned.
AZGFD decided it was best to intervene and the cub was transferred to the department on November 3.
“Mountain lions are truly resilient animals, but this one likely would not have made it without human intervention and specialized care,” Mike Demlong, AZGFD wildlife education program manager, said in a release.
Demlong said the cub needed help "immediately."
"The cub was lethargic, severely dehydrated and emaciated," he said. "We’re currently doing everything possible to improve the health of this cub and give her the strongest chance for survival.”
Because she was orphaned, the department said, she can't be returned to the wild. She wouldn't survive on her own.
"Mountain lion cubs spend a year or more with their mom learning critical survival skills," the department wrote. "This cub will not have that opportunity."
AZGFD said the cub will remain with the department until a wildlife sanctuary, park or zoo can give her a forever home.