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These Newborn Mountain Lions Are Cute Even When They Hiss

Kitten siblings P-46 and P-47 at their den in the western Santa Monica Mountains. (Photo via National Park Story)
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Oh my gosh look at those adorable faces.

Biologists with the National Park Service welcomed kittens P-46 and P-47 to the local mountain family in December after discovering them in the western Santa Monica Mountains. Park Service biologist Jeff Sikich told KCET that the brother and sister were born to six-and-a-half-year-old P-19. The two, beautiful, blue-eyed kittens are P-19's third litter.

Researchers can track P-19 by a collar she wears that tracks her location, giving them the opportunity to get up close with P-46 and P-47. They shot footage of the two kittens as they adorably hissed at the camera, and also implanted tracking devices inside their bodies.

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They also set up a stationary camera next to the den, which captured this video of their mom's return to the den as she's greeted with their squeaks.

The biologists were able to figure out that P-19 had given birth based on the locations transmitted by her collar. “We continue to see successful reproduction, which indicates that the quality of the natural habitat is high for such a relatively urbanized area,” Sikich said in a press release from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "But these kittens have many challenges ahead of them, from evading other mountain lions, to crossing freeways, to dealing with exposure to rat poison."

By the time they reach an age between one year and 18 months, the mother will abandon her kittens and they'll have to set off on their own. "It'll be interesting to see if mom successfully raises them to dispersal age, and especially where they go from there," Sikich said to KCET. "We haven't seen any young males live to the age of two, besides P-22."

P-22 is, of course, Griffith Park's own resident, rock star mountain lion.

DNA testing is being done to determine the father of P-46 and P-47.

Bonus photos!

Kitten siblings P-46 and P-47 at their den in the western Santa Monica Mountains. (Photo via National Park Service)

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Kitten siblings P-46 and P-47 at their den in the western Santa Monica Mountains. (Photo via National Park Service)

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