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The Forest Service Moved These Orphaned Mountain Lion Kittens From LA To Arizona

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The two foster kittens, hanging out in their new home at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona (Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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Two Southern California mountain lion kittens are in Arizona now after attempts failed to foster them in their local birthplace.

The orphaned kittens were found in the Simi Hills earlier this summer (during the mountain lion baby boom) while their mother was away from the den. She was later found dead.

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The foster kittens cuddle at the L.A. Zoo (Photo Courtesy Los Angeles Zoo)

Biologists tried to foster the kittens with a surrogate female in the Santa Monica Mountains, but she later abandoned the orphaned kittens when she moved from her den. (Here's a video of them playing in that foster den; it's frankly, adorable and we cannot understand why she would leave them, but the heart wants what it wants).

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Seth Riley with the National Parks Service says it's hard to know why the effort didn't work, but a stay at the LA Zoo just prior to the foster attempt might have had something to do with it.

"We do think it would probably [have been] better to have done it as quickly as possible, so that the potential foster kittens [didn't] interact with people for as long as these ones did," Riley told LAist/KPCC.

He says it's also possible that the adult female mountain lion made the decision to leave the orphaned kittens behind because she already had her own litter.

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One of the kittens waits for his new home at the L.A. Zoo (Courtesy LA Zoo)

The two kittens are now at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Obviously we can't ask them how they feel about it, but they look pretty happy in their new home.

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(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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5f768299edff0a0008ef4398-eight.jpg
(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
5f7682bdedff0a0008ef439c-eight.jpg
(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)
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(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains Nat. Recreation Area Flickr page)

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