Who doesn’t love a baby face?
Three mountain lion kittens were recently discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains and biologists from the National Park Service are hoping to one day add them to the other mountain lions they are studying. Born in the Malibu Springs area, the kittens (known now affectionately as P-32, P-33 and P-34) are the offspring of P-19 a radio-collared female. When she started restricted her movements and hanging out in a small area, biologists had a hunch she was “denning” or giving birth and taking care of a litter. Their hunch was correct when they found her den o’ kittens when she was out hunting.
Biologists quickly gathered samples, gave the furry feline youngsters an once-over exam, determined their sex (two girls and a boy) and tagged them; the kittens can’t be radio collared until they are about a year old.
Now, the biologists will have to keep close eyes on the kittens and track them via mom (this is P-19’s second litter) and other camera traps until they can safely fit them with the GPS collars.
We hope these kittens – and mom – are up for the challenge of being a wild critter living near an urban area. It won’t be easy but we are sure there will be plenty of cheerleaders along the way. Go P-32, 33, 34!
Photo: New addition to the family P-32 gets a close-up. Photo by the NPS.