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Environment & Science

Biologists fascinated by three-legged bobcat




B-337 caught on camera in January 2015.
B-337 caught on camera in January 2015.
National Park Service
B-337 caught on camera in January 2015.
B-336, the one-eared kitten of B-337, which has been surviving in the Santa Monica Mountains despite having only three legs.
National Park Service


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It was an exciting moment when a Parks Service camera in the Santa Monica mountains captured a wild bobcat bounding about. 

But this wasn't any ordinary bobcat. Researchers quickly determined was that this animal only has three legs. 

National Parks Service staff managed to breifly capture the bobcat, put a tracking device one her and release her back into the mountains. And they gave her a name: B-337. 

Now for those of us who may never get close enough to see a bobcat in the wild, the Parks Service shot some video of B-337. In the clip you see a sleek cat bound off, clearly uninhibitted by its lack of a leg. 

Take Two's Deepa Fernandes spoke with Joanne Moriarty, a biologist at the National Park Service. She studies bobcats around Los Angeles.

On how they spotted B-337

We first spotted her one a remote camera last summer. the first photo we weren't sure if what we were seeing was true, that she only had three legs. But then a little bit later we got another photo of her where it was very clear that she did. Since we were going to be trapping in her area anyway we were hoping to capture her in one of our traps so that we could take a closer look at her.

On B-337's kitten and what makes it special.

We actually captured the kitten that she raised. His name in 336. We don't know if it's coincidental or if there is something going on here. He does appear to only have one ear. It appears his hearing isn't affected at all; he has the actual functioning parts of the ear, he just doesn't have the outside parts of it.

To hear the full audio click the blue player above

To see the full video of the Bobcat, click here