OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A Santa Cruz resident made a surprising discovery when she found an adorable, tiny mountain lion cub hiding under her house’s deck.

At first, the woman was hopeful that the cub’s mother was out hunting for food and would retrieve her youngster soon. The resident alerted the California Department of Fish & Wildlife about the situation.

Days went by without any signs of the mother mountain lion, and the cub remained alone.

Holly the mountain lion cub (Image courtesy the Oakland Zoo)

CDFW’s big cat experts determined that the female cub was weak, emaciated, and in need of veterinary care. On Monday night, the CDFW transported the cub from Santa Cruz to the Oakland Zoo’s wildlife rescue center where the cougar was treated with fluids and vitamins.

Holly the mountain lion (Image courtesy the Oakland Zoo)
Holly receives veterinary care at the Oakland Zoo. (Image courtesy the Oakland Zoo)

An Oakland Zoo spokesperson told KRON4, “Last night, Dr. Herman and her staff examined the cub. She is estimated to be 3-4 months old and critically ill. Our vet staff named her ‘Holly’ in honor of the holidays. We prepared a toasty warm room for her in the hospital ward.”

(Image courtesy the Oakland Zoo)

Holly continued receiving veterinary care on Tuesday.

“She seems a bit brighter today, but she still isn’t standing or moving around too much. From being orphaned in the near-freezing weather, she is still hypothermic despite her new warm environment,” the zoo’s  spokesperson said.

(Image courtesy the Oakland Zoo)

Holly’s veterinary care team is hopeful that her health will continue to improve.

The Oakland Zoo specializes in caring for wild mountain lions in need of rescues. Holly is the 22nd mountain lion that has been rescued and treated by the Oakland Zoo’s veterinary team.