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These Adorable Rescued Puma Cubs Are Settling Into Their New Home Purrfectly!

orphaned puma cubs

When a farmer in Kalama, Washington, shot a female puma, a pair of cubs were left orphaned and alone. Without their mother to care for them, they would never have survived on their own. Thankfully, rescuers quickly swept in to save the orphaned puma cubs, who have now found a permanent home

orphaned puma cubs in new home

In the summer 2023, the Philadelphia Zoo embraced these two special cats with open arms – naming them Elbroch and Olympia. 

The male cub, Elbroch, was named in honor of Mark Elbroch, a renowned puma researcher for Panthera, a leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting wild cats worldwide. Olympia, the female cub, derived her name from the state capital of Washington, where they were found.

Initially, the orphaned puma cubs were living in the Zoo’s on-site animal hospital, undergoing a quarantine period before their move to their new home — Big Cat Falls. Curator of Carnivores and Ungulates, Maggie Morse, lauded the expertise of the cubs’ new caretakers, “We are so thankful to our keeper and veterinary teams who have stepped up to give these cubs the best care possible.”

orphaned puma cubs explore

Fish and Wildlife chose the Philadelphia Zoo as the cubs’ permanent home due to its expertise in caring for this species.

This isn’t the first time the Philadelphia Zoo has played a crucial role in providing a home for orphaned puma cubs. In 2005, three cubs named Dakota, Sage, and Cinnabar found sanctuary at the zoo after being orphaned in the wild in South Dakota. 

The zoo’s Vice President of Animal Well-Being, Rachel Metz, emphasized the importance of such placements, stating, “Without the intervention of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Philadelphia Zoo, these cubs would likely not have survived without their mother.” 

“Part of Philadelphia Zoo’s mission is to inspire action to protect wildlife and habitats.” Rachel stated. “These animals will serve as ambassadors to educate our guests on the importance of apex predators and the challenges that revolve around humans and our relationships with predators in the wild.”

orphaned puma cub at philadelphia zoo

Pumas, also known as cougars or mountain lions, are fascinating big cats that live across North and South America. While the IUCN classifies them as “Least Concern,” pumas still face numerous threats in the wild. Habitat loss and fragmentation, car strikes, and human conflict continue to challenge their survival.

The Philadelphia Zoo offers a unique opportunity for visitors to safely learn about these incredible apex predators and the importance of their conservation. As Elbroch and Olympia settle into their new home, they will contribute to educating guests about the critical role that humans play in the relationship between predators and their habitats. 

These orphaned puma cubs will thrive in their new home while raising awareness about the challenges faced by apex predators in the wild. If you’re in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to witness their journey and learn how you can participate in the efforts to protect these incredible animals.

You can hear more about the pair’s journey below:


It’s time to tell you about our not-so-little secrets! Last month, two orphaned puma cubs, a male and female, arrived at the Zoo after being rescued and briefly cared for by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife experts. Officials there determined it was unlikely the cubs would have survived on their own without their mother. Today, the cubs are estimated to be 20-21 weeks old. The two are living behind-the-scenes inside our on-site Animal Hospital where they are receiving the best care possible as they complete their quarantine period. The cubs are NOT visible to the public and won’t be until they move to their new home in Big Cat Falls some time in September. Philadelphia Zoo was chosen as the permanent home for the cubs because of our expertise in caring for this species. We’ll be sure to keep you posted for when they make their public debut! Our staff have named the cubs Elbroch and Olympia. Our boy is named Elbroch (pronounced el-brock) in honor of Mark Elbroch who is the leading puma researcher for Panthera, a conservation organization devoted to the protection of the world’s 40 species of wild cats. Our girl is named Olympia after the state capital of Washington where the cubs were rescued. You can tell the two apart by their size. Elbroch is a little bit bigger than his sister. He’s confident and not afraid to explore and Olympia follows along, looking to her brother for reassurance. Stay tuned as we continue to provide updates as these little ones get acclimated to their new home in Philly. We are so thankful to our team of keepers, curators and veterinary staff who continue to provide incredible care to ensure these two babies thrive. ❤️ #puma #mountainlion #rescuedanimals #babyanimals

♬ original sound – Philadelphia Zoo

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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