MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Four orphaned pumas have found a new home at the Memphis Zoo after their mother abandoned them in Washington, according to zookeepers.
Zoo officials said the female puma gave birth to the kittens — three males and one female — in the backyard of a Washington resident. When U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials tried to relocate the family, the mother ended up abandoning her young. Officials said after two days of the mother not returning, they decided to intervene and care for the kittens.
The Memphis Zoo was selected as the home through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ puma monitoring program.
FedEx then agreed to transport the kittens to Tennessee.
"The four puma kittens are currently being quarantined at the Memphis Zoo animal hospital," zoo officials said in a news release Friday.
"When the kittens arrived at the zoo they were malnourished and dehydrated," zookeepers continued. "However, they are doing well and starting to put on the appropriate weight for growing puma kittens."
According to the zoo, pumas find their habitats in mountains and deserts, but their population has declined due to "human predation."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.