Researchers found two litters of mountain lions on the eastern parts of the Susana Mountains recently. The kittens are born from different mothers, but they might be sharing the same father, making them one big happy family.
According to the officials in Santa Monica, the five kittens that were found in two different nests are momentarily flourishing under the protection of their mothers.
Researchers discovered the two litters of mountain lions last month in the Los Padres National Forrest and the Santa Monica Mountains. The nests were hidden in the mountain range that connects the population of mountain lions from both areas.
It seems that the felines in the area are able to reproduce successfully despite the fact that the animals are being threatened by a variety of man-made and natural causes. This included freeway traffic which claims the lives of hundreds of wild animals each year.
“The real challenge comes as these kittens grow older and disperse especially the male, and have to deal with threats from other mountain lions and also road mortality and the possibility of poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticide,” declared Jedd Sikich one of the biologists from the National Recreation Area of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The researchers used GPS locators to track the parents of the five cubs. Upon locating the nests, the scientists discovered two male baby mountain lions and three black-stripped blonde female cubs. The kittens were living in separate locations.
The first litter that was found contained two of the three females. Researchers dubbed them P-48 and P-49. The two kittens were tagged on June 8th. Their mother is P-35, a five years old mountain lion that was tagged by the scientists on April 2014. She had a previously registered birth, but unfortunately, the kitten did not survive.
The second litter is located in a small cave. The two male kittens P-50 and P-52 and the remaining female kitten, P-51 were birthed by P-39, a female mountain lion tagged by researchers in April 2015.
Biologists believe that the two families share a father. P-38 was tracked via GPS for the previous months and was seen spending a considerable amount of time with the previously mentioned females.
Researchers will be conducting genetic testing in order to determine the identity of the father.
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