According to the National Park Service, biologists studying a mountain lion in wilderness areas near Los Angeles have witnessed the birth of three healthy kittens.
On Thursday, the park service announced that the three female kittens, estimated to be around a month old, were discovered on May 18 in a patch of poison oak within the Simi Hills area, approximately 40 miles (65 km) northwest of downtown LA.
The mother of the kittens, a 5-year-old cougar known as P-77, has been under tracking since November 2019. The newborns have been named P-113, P-114, and P-115 by scientists.
The father’s identity is unknown, as no monitored male cougars are present in P-77’s habitat. Biologists believe that the father may have come from nearby mountains and then returned, a behavior commonly observed in mountain lions.
Mountain Lions – What Are They?
This marks the third litter of mountain lions discovered in the Simi Hills in recent years, following births in 2018 and 2020. Since 2002, the National Park Service has been researching mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains to better understand how these resilient animals survive in a fragmented and urban environment.
Mountain lions, also known as cougars, exhibit extraordinary physical capabilities. They can effortlessly leap over 12-foot fences from a standstill, cover distances of over 20 feet in a single bound, and sprint at speeds of up to 45 mph. Despite their impressive athleticism, mountain lions typically lead solitary lives within large territories. Female territories span approximately 50 square miles, while male territories can exceed 150 square miles. Male territories often overlap with those of three or four females. These active lion territories are concentrated in Sonoma County, particularly in areas with suitable vegetation cover.
When it comes to movement, lions exhibit a preference for avoiding open spaces and urbanized regions. Instead, they tend to stick to locations where vegetation provides adequate concealment, such as creeks, streambeds, and overgrown, wild, and wooded areas.
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