I think it goes without saying that we are living in unprecedented times marked with sadness, confusion, and frustration. And if there’s one thing that can make us smile right now, it’s our feline friends. But that isn’t exclusive to our domesticated kitties. Because for many of us, big cats—especially big cat kittens—can makes us smile, too.
With cities expanding year after year, big cat habitats are quickly dwindling all across the globe. For the mountain lions roaming the Santa Monica Mountains of California, this is especially true. Thankfully, there are committed individuals who go above and beyond to ensure these gorgeous big cats can survive. But with all the work they do, the sad reality is that research predicts their extinction within fifty years time in this area. This week, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area shared some uplifting news that many are finding a purrfectly unexpected surprise: the birth of three mountain lion kittens!
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area shared the exciting update on their Facebook page just yesterday, and the accompanying photos are simply too precious. Read the words they shared and their images below.
“First, we want to acknowledge that times are tough. Not only are we still dealing with a deadly pandemic, but our nation is engaging in an intense and emotional dialogue about issues related to race and civil rights.
With this in mind, we hope that our recent discovery of a den of mountain lion kittens can perhaps bring a small smile to your face today.
P-54, a three-year old mountain lion living in the Santa Monica Mountains, recently gave birth to a litter of kittens – males P-82 and P-83, and female P-84. Researchers believe this is her first litter.
It’s always good news to discover a new litter of kittens, but biologists are hopeful for another reason: the presumed father, male mountain lion P-63, may have just brought something that is much needed into the Santa Monica Mountains – genetic diversity.
More than four months ago, P-63, the only adult male radio-collared mountain lion living in the Santa Monica Mountains, was repeatedly “located” with P-54 over two days, which is generally an indication of a mating interaction. Approximately 90 days later, researchers noticed a series of localized GPS locations indicating that either P-54 was feeding at a kill site or that she had given birth. This may also be the first time that P-63 has fathered kittens.”
I’d like to give a special thank you to the hardworking people affiliated with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The work they do to help keep these cats protected is crucial to their survival and I know I don’t speak just for myself when I say how greatly appreciative I am for it.
If you’d like to read the press release in its entirety on these new babies, you can do so by clicking here.
Know someone who could use a smile right now? Share these precious mountain lion kitten images with them.
All Images of the Kittens Courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area