Fish scales help Mountain Lion burned in Thomas Fire

SANTA PAULA, Calif. - California Fish and Wildlife staff are helping a Mountain Lion kitten recover in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire in Ventura County.

The five month old kitten was rescued from Santa Paula on December 22. He was described as thin with burns to the pads of his four paws.

According to a CDFW Facebook post, he was captured and brought to its Wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordova for treatment. 

"Dr. Jamie Peyton, Chief of Integrative Medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, has been providing consultation and assistance with the care of his burns, which includes applying sterilized tilapia (fish) skin to the most severe injuries. The unusual technique - which doctors in Brazil have successfully used on human burn patients -- creates a biologic bandage to protect the burn area and provides collagen to help speed healing."

CDFW officials say the lion has responded well to treatment and will recover. However, because of his young age, damage to its habitat and needed medical care, CDFW plans to place the cat in captivity.  

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