Well this is happy news (at least it is for P-23 and people with a propensity for anthropomorphizing their pets): The female mountain lion best known for striking a fierce pose atop a deer on Mulholland Highway back in 2013 has a six-month-old kitten! Researchers with the National Park Service knew P-23 had a litter mid-year, but they believed that all of the kittens from that delivery were later killed by another animal. The surviving (and surprising) babe popped up in video footage captured last month by biologist Jeff Sikich. According to Kate Kuykendall, a public affairs officer with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the kitten—who is roaming about with P-23—appears to be doing great. Officials will make an effort to collar the kitten for the mountain lion study underway in about a year, when it’s closer to the age at which kittens typically leave their mothers’ sides.
“I was really relieved,” says Kuykendall of the kitten’s discovery. “Part of my job is keeping the public updated, and recently I’ve had to convey quite a bit of sad news, either about kittens being killed or mountain lions being hit on freeways. This is a nice change of pace, especially at this time of year.”
You can see and hear the kitten in this video clip: