Surprise lion kitten found in Santa Monicas

cub-of-p23.jpgEarlier this year, the National Park Service mountain lion study announced that two cubs from P-23 had been killed in the wilds of the Santa Monica Mountains. More happily, the researchers have now discovered there was a third, previously unknown kitten from this year's litter that survived. The young mountain lion was recently observed on a trail camera video that the park service posted today. In the short video, the cub squeaks a few times and walks around a clearing, then drags the head of a killed mule deer out of some grass. P-23, this cub's mother, was the lion photographed eating a deer on Mulholland Highway in 2013, in case you are keeping score at home.

Since the kitten has yet to be captured and outfitted with a tracking device, he or she does not have a study ID (such as P-46, the next available number). But we hope to learn more. This kitten, now about 6 months old, successfully avoided initial detection from our field biologists and—somehow—an attack from an animal that killed its siblings.

Just like its mother, this kitten is full of surprises.

View the video.

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