Due to damage from Tropical Storm Hillary, the hiking trails will have a delayed opening this season. Please stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

Welcoming Rose and Sage

September 30, 2022


The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is thrilled to share that Rose and Sage, the rescued mountain lions from the Oakland Zoo, arrived safely at The Living Desert on September 22nd and are now settling in at their fur-ever home.

We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support for Rose and Sage and are excited to share updates as the pair reach new milestones. Since their arrival, we have received many questions on Rose and Sage’s background, their new home, and their future. So, below, you will find answers some of to the most asked questions.

Where can I get updates on Rose and Sage?
For the latest updates on this dynamic duo, be sure to follow The Living Desert's Instagram and Facebook pages.

Who are Rose and Sage?
Rose and Sage were both orphaned mountain lion cubs rescued by and rehabilitated at the Oakland Zoo.

Rose was initially spotted by hikers in the Thornewood Open Space Preserve in San Mateo, CA. She was located and retrieved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other officials. At the time, Rose was estimated to be four-to five-months old and was in critical medical condition. She was brought to the Oakland Zoo in April 2022, where she received critical veterinary care, including a life-saving blood transfusion. Today, she is a healthy mountain lion cub estimated to be about nine-to ten-months old.

Soon after Rose arrived at the Oakland Zoo, they received another rescued mountain lion, Sage. This six-to eight-month-old cub was discovered orphaned and malnourished in a classroom at Pescadero High School in Northern California in June 2022. Sage also received essential medical care while at the Oakland Zoo. Sage is now a healthy nine-to eleven-month old mountain lion. The two rescues were introduced to each other at the Oakland Zoo and are now a companion pair.

When can I come see Rose and Sage?
Rose and Sage are currently behind-the-scenes as they get accustomed to their new surroundings and build a relationship with their animal care team. Once they are comfortable, Rose and Sage will be introduced into the mountain lion habitat in Eagle Canyon.

Then, the pair will alternate with Salem, The Living Desert’s other mountain lion resident, so guests will either see Salem or they will see Rose and Sage when visiting Eagle Canyon.

Who is Salem and what is her relationship with Rose and Sage?
The Living Desert is also home to a mountain lion named Salem. At over 18 years old, Salem is one of the oldest mountain lions in human care. Her animal care and veterinary teams are dedicated to her well-being and health throughout every stage of her life. The current care plan is not to introduce Rose and Sage with Salem. Rose and Sage are a young, rambunctious pair with different energy levels and care needs than Salem, so they will be managed separately. Once Rose and Sage are introduced to the mountain lion habitat, guests will either see Salem or they will see Rose and Sage.

How is Salem doing?
Our animal care and veterinary teams are dedicated to Salem’s wellbeing and health throughout every stage of her life. She receives regular medical treatments for arthritis and other geriatric-related ailments and the team closely monitors her behavior. Despite her advanced age, she is still her spunky self – engaging with guests at the window and training with her care team.

How can I support Rose and Sage?
Both donations and purchases including tickets, memberships, and merchandise at The Living Desert, support the exceptional care that our 600+ animals, including Rose and Sage, receive. Your donations and purchases also directly support over 50 conservation projects in 11 countries, including the restoration of our own beautiful desert ecosystems in Southern California. Click here to learn more about how you can support The Living Desert.

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