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These Adorable Mountain Lion Kittens Will Make Your Day

The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced a new litter of wild mountain lion kittens in the Simi Hills of California. Biologists say a mountain lion called “P-77” gave birth to three female kittens, and they discovered the babies in a patch of poison oak nestled among large boulders.

NPS says biologists found the litter on May 18, and the kittens were about 24 days old at the time. All appeared healthy. Mom is between five and six years old, NPS says in its press release.

Simi Hills is an area of habitat between the Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountain ranges in southern California, northwest of Los Angeles. NPS is calling the adorable kittens “P-113,” “P-114,” and “P-115.”

mountain lion kittens California
Image courtesy of NPS

NPS has been studying mountain lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains since 2002. The goal is to determine how these animals survive in a “fragmented and urbanized environment.”

To study the babies, biologists visit the den when the mother is away. NPS says the researchers conduct a general health assessment of the kittens a short distance away from the den and place them back when finished. They determine the sex of each kitten, take body measurements, obtain biological samples, and place an ear tag, which helps researchers identify the animals when they pass trail cameras later in life.

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Jeff Sikich, lead field biologist of the NPS mountain lion study, said: “It’s encouraging to see reproduction in our small population of mountain lions, especially after all the mortalities we have documented in the last year.” 

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