May 8, 2014
Yuma is growing quickly and continues to be very frisky and healthy. Our veterinarian Dr. Ray Ball, who helped hand feed him as a kitten, visited Yuma at Homosassa State Park to give him his latest vaccinations. Now 17.7 pounds, Yuma still delights in chasing Dr. Ball. (That is Dr. Ball’s leg in the bottom photo).
Yuma is out for about 30 minutes twice a day to help educate the public about Florida panthers. Soon, he will be introduced to a large outdoor habitat that is open to the sky with trees.
April 23, 2014
The Florida panther kitten who spent 7 weeks in the care of the Zoo's veterinary team is settling into his new permanent home at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. He has been given the name "Yuma" by park staff, which is Native American for “Son of the Chief.” Our friends at Bay News 9 filmed him at play. Warning: seriously adorable!
Link to Bay News 9 video: http://goo.gl/MGhwk3
April 1, 2014
Check out this ADORABLE new video of the panther kitten exploring the great outdoors from our friends at CTTV.
Click here to view the video.
March 26, 2014
This has been a week of remarkable growth for the kitten! Now eating meat exclusively, he weighs over 10 pounds, and has incredibly strong claws. He is becoming a skilled jumper, though he sometimes still misjudges distances. Yesterday he spent some time exploring a whole new world – the great outdoors! At 9-weeks-old, it’s time for him to leave his den (in the Zoo’s veterinary clinic) and begin to venture outside, just as he would have done with his mother.
March 19, 2014
In the last few days, the kitten has successfully weaned from a bottle to a meat-based diet. The young male weighed 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilograms) upon arrival at the Zoo, and is now 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) and growing every day! He continues to progress physically as well, practicing new behaviors like stalking, pouncing and leaping.
March 11, 2014
The 7-week-old panther had is first round of kitten vaccinations today. He clung to his plush pal, a surrogate litter mate, and barely flinched. Brave boy! He’s just starting to sample meat, while still nursing every three hours or so. He is growing every day, now up to 6.5 pounds (3.02 kilograms). He’s also become much more active, playful and curious -- and has begun to chew, chew, chew on everything.
February 27, 2014
The kitten has become very inquisitive! He is now bounding toward items of interest, instead of just being curious. He is very active and moves without reservation. He weighed in today at 4.8 pounds (2.2 kilograms).
February 24, 2014
In a new video posted on YouTube today, the panther kitten can be seen exploring and playing inside the Zoo’s veterinary clinic, receiving a weight check, taking a bottle (including the hiccups that follow) and getting sleepy. As of today, the male kitten weighs in at 4.5 pounds (2.08 kilograms).
February 20, 2014
A rescued Florida panther kitten has arrived at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for neonatal care and rearing. Initial assessments indicate the 4-week-old kitten is healthy and active with an excellent appetite.
The young male weighed 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilograms) upon arrival at the Zoo, and is now 4.1 pounds (1.86 kilograms) and growing every day.
The kitten is currently receiving 24-hour care from the Zoo’s veterinary team led by Dr. Ray Ball, director of medical sciences. In the next few weeks, staff will work with the kitten to wean from a bottle to a meat-based diet. At approximately 8-weeks-old, he will receive his kitten vaccinations prior to transfer to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where he will live.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to provide veterinary support for the wild Florida panther population. The young male is the fourth kitten and eighth panther to receive rehabilitation at the Zoo.
The Zoo has provided a home for a total of six panthers, including current resident Calusa (“Lucy”), a 6-year-old female. In addition to the rehabilitation of Florida panthers, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has become an active member of the field team for the FWC that captures and tracks panthers with radio collars, and collects biomedical data to provide data to scientists and managers.