Monte, a mountain lion that had lived at San Joaquin County’s Micke Grove Zoo since 2000, was humanely euthanized on July 31 because of worsening health conditions related to renal (kidney) failure. Estimated to be just over sixteen years old, Monte was a popular animal with the public and a favorite of zoo staff.
In June of this year, veterinarians from the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine determined that Monte was experiencing renal failure, a chronic kidney disease that typically affects older cats of many species, including domestics. Micke Grove Zoo had invited the press and the public to pay their final visits to Monte after the determination of his failing health was made.
Monte was found as an abandoned underweight cub in the Carmel Valley in April 1997 and was transferred to the care of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly the California Department of Fish and Game) in Sacramento. After three years of rehabilitation, the mountain lion was loaned to Micke Grove Zoo where he had inspired and intrigued thousands of zoo visitors for over a decade.
Zoo staff is greatly saddened by the loss of Monte but understand that euthanizing him was the best choice in order to prevent his level of comfort from worsening.
Mountain lions are found in North, Central, and South America and have the largest range of any wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. This species, scientifically known as Puma concolor, has a variety of common names in English, including puma, cougar, mountain cat, catamount, and painter - the latter being for the black tip on their tail that resembles a paintbrush.
Primary Animal Care Specialist Carrie McMorris had worked with Monte to create artwork with his paws rather than his tail. Monte’s artwork is available for purchase in the zoo gift shop.
Micke Grove Zoo is open every day of the year except for Christmas from 10am-5pm with last admittance allowed at 4:30pm. Effective August 1, 2013, zoo admission is $5 for guests 14 and older, $3 for children 3-13, and free for children under the age of 2. San Joaquin County parking fees apply. Please check the website for additional details. www.mgzoo.com