Environment & Science

Surprise Santa Monica Mountains lion kitten turns up

National Park Service

A biologist studying cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains has discovered a living sibling of two lion kittens recently killed by another animal.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area posted video of the 6-month-old kitten Thursday.

The kitten is the offspring of a 3½-year-old female mountain lion dubbed P-23, whose first litter of two kittens was eaten by a male lion.

Her next litter was killed and eaten by another unknown animal. At the time, biologists thought P-23 had only one kitten but found remains of two.

The biologist then noticed movements tracked by P-23's GPS collar suggesting she was caring for another so he set up a so-called camera trap where the lion had left a deer kill, and the kitten was recorded.

P-23's Surprise Kitten

Remember when we announced that P-43 and her unknown sibling died? Turns out there was yet another unknown sibling—and it survived! Make sure to turn up the volume to enjoy this at full squeee-ness and find out what we know so far here: go.nps.gov/p23kitten - Zach, Communications Fellow

Posted by Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Thursday, December 17, 2015