3 Mountain Lion Kittens Found In Thousand Oaks Will Melt Your Heart
An all-female litter of mountain lion kittens was discovered last week in a dense patch of foliage in the Simi Hills of Thousand Oaks by National Park Service biologists.
Meet the kittens
The three furry felines — named P-113, 114, and P-115 — are the offspring of P-77, a mountain lion who’s been living on a small patch between the 101 and 118 freeways.
This is the third litter the NPS has found in the Simi Hills over the past five years.
Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of long-term study of mountain lions, says he’s interested to see how the kittens will adapt to the region's urban areas.
“It will be interesting to learn how these kittens will use the landscape once they get older and disperse," he said, "particularly if they decide to stay in the Simi Hills or cross freeways to enter larger natural areas.”
To get to the other side of the road
Last April, construction got underway on the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing that will stretch 210 feet across eight lanes of the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills.
The $90 million project is intended to provide safe passage to a range of wildlife now hemmed in by the region's massive freeways. Mountain lions have been killed in high numbers on area roads and also suffer from inbreeding because of how bifurcated their habitats currently are due to development in Southern California.
Given the recent deaths of mountain lions in L.A., including the loss of the famous P-22, these recent births shine a light on a more hopeful future for a species that have adapted to a fragmented landscape of Los Angeles.
And the future for the kittens? Well, the healthy creatures have been tagged so biologists can keep track of their development and their movement well-beyond their childhood.
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