Mountain lion cubs born in Santa Monica Mountains
Three mountain lion kittens were born in the Malibu Springs area Santa Monica Mountains recently -- and National Park Service rangers have already started tracking them.
The park service has been monitoring the health of mountain lions for the past 11 years. This is the fifth litter in the Santa Monicas since the study started, according to a story in the Ventura County Star. “They are pretty good habitat for mountain lions,” Seth Riley (pictured below with one of the cubs), a wildlife ecologist with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, told the newspaper. But it's not all rosy.
From the story: "The wild cats seem to find plenty of deer to eat and are reproducing, he said. 'The only problem: They (the Santa Monicas) just aren’t big enough in the long run for a viable population.'
The three kittens were born to a lion named P19, a 3-year-old mountain lion which herself was born in the Santa Monicas. The birth of healthy kittens is a positive sign for the local mountain lion popularion, the paper reports. However the father of the kittens also is the father of P19, not great for problems of inbreeding.
Photo credits: National Park Service