Photos: Adorable Bobcat Kittens In The Santa Monica Mountains
Meet B326 and B327, two adorable bobcat kittens photographed by Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area rangers. B326 and B327 are about three to four weeks old in these photos. The pair was recently tagged as part of a study the National Park Service has been conducting for 20 years to see how bobcats are affected by urbanization. According to Ranger Kate Kuykendall in a post on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area's Facebook page, the kittens' mother, B255, has been on their radar since 2010. They were able to tag the babies while she was away from the den, then safely return them to the den.
B326 and B327 (Photo via The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
The National Park Service tags bobcats by capturing and sedating them, then taking blood and tissue samples for analysis. Many are captured from Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, plus the Hollywood Hills and Griffith Park. They also use remote cameras and scat surveys, which means they analyze the bobcats' droppings. Through this process, researchers have been able to study mange, which can be a deadly epidemic among bobcats and may be linked to rat poison. Griffith Park's famous mountain lion, P-22, was also once afflicted with mange, but researchers were able to treat him.
Researchers are also able to study genetic diversity, which can be limited in areas where freeways prevent the bobcats from moving around.
Look at those tiny fangs! (Photo via Th Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
Researchers tagged the kittens while the mother was away (Photo via The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)