Earlier 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.