Mountain Lions

Former orphan cubs get a new start at the BioPark.

Mountain Lion Banner Larabee Cub 2020

The ABQ BioPark is home to two mountain lions.

A male cub, "Larabee," arrived at the BioPark in fall 2019. Larabee was discovered in a backyard in Nebraska. The cub was originally found with its sibling, who later ran away and a deceased female mountain lion was later found and believed to be the cubs' mother. The homeowner was able to care for the remaining cub, which was dehydrated and weak, until Nebraska Game and Parks could rescue him. 
Larabee, whose name comes from the street where his rescuer lived, was taken to the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where they temporarily cared for him for two more weeks before transferring him to Albuquerque. 
Larabee is not the ABQ BioPark's first rescue mountain lion cub. The Zoo has collaborated with a number of organizations over the years including Nebraska Game and Parks and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to offer refuge to rescued mountain lions. 
The ABQ BioPark is also home to a female adult mountain lion named Gillin. Gillin arrived from the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo and Adventure Park in fall 2019 and was once a rescue cub herself in Oregon. 
All mountain lions in Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facilities are rescues from the wild and the AZA does not have a breeding plan for the species. That is because there are so many mountain lions in need of rescue due to hunting and other human encroachment in mountain lion territory. 

Did you know?

  • The mountain lion--also known as cougar, puma, panther and catamount--is native to the Americas from Canada south to Argentina. 
  • Cougar populations are on the decline, and hunting is prohibited across much of its range in Latin America and Canada as well as California. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has also listed one sub-species, the Florida panther, as endangered and protected by the Endangered Species Act. 
  • It is the second-heaviest cat in the New World, after the jaguar.