Tyler, Texas (FOX51) — One of the grand old ladies of Caldwell Zoo has died.
Sierra, the zoo's adult female mountain lion, died February 5, 2014.
She was born in the wild here in Texas in 1992 and raised by her mother. She was relocated to Florida where Sierra was an integral part of a genetic restoration program for Florida panthers. She produced two litters of cubs in the wild and the surviving cubs from those litters have produced cubs of their own. When it was felt that she had met her intended quota of offspring, she was captured and taken to White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida, where she quickly acclimated to her new life. In 2003, Sierra arrived at the Caldwell Zoo.
At the time of her death, Sierra, 22, was the oldest mountain lion in any of zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Her longevity is a testament to the excellent care she received by the animal care staff and she will be missed by all who came in contact with her.
Caldwell's young mountain lions, Monte and Palus are still on exhibit.