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THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — Two mountain lion kittens born within the Santa Monica Mountains this summer time are actually residing at a wildlife sanctuary in Arizona after a first-of-its-kind try and foster them after their mom died.
P-91 and P-92 had been a part of a giant child growth this summer time within the Santa Monica Mountains, the place a complete of 13 mountain lion kittens had been born. However their mom, P-67, was discovered useless just some days after the kittens had been found on July 7 within the Simi Hills, south of Simi Valley.
At that time, P-91 and P-92 had been simply three months previous and couldn’t survive with out their mom, in keeping with Jeff Sikich, a wildlife biologist who leads the analysis on Santa Monica Mountain’s inhabitants of mountain lions. Mountain lions can’t be raised or rehabilitated, then launched, in California, so captivity is usually the one different choice, in keeping with the Nationwide Park Service. However then one other mountain lion researcher with California Division of Fish and Wildlife made an uncommon suggestion – why not attempt to foster the kittens with one other mountain lion that had additionally simply given delivery?
“The story of this fostering try is exceptional,” Nationwide Park Service Superintendent David Szymanski stated in a press release.”
Nationwide Park Service officers say fostering has been profitable in different giant mammals like black bears and wolves, and in zoo animals. And one other mountain lion, P-65, had only in the near past given delivery to P-88, P-89 and P-90, who had been found simply the day earlier than.
“These 5 kittens had been all roughly the identical age, which meant we had this distinctive alternative to aim fostering and provides these kittens an opportunity to dwell within the wild,” Sikich stated in a press release. “I had tried this on black bears on a earlier analysis undertaking and it had labored, however conditions can fluctuate for various species and people.”
Nationwide Park Service biologists teamed up with the Fish and Wildlife and the Los Angeles Zoo, which housed the kittens till they might try and foster them with P-65. On July 16, whereas the brand new mother was away, the mountain lion researchers introduced the 2 orphans to her den and rubbed urine from one in all P-65’s kittens onto P-91 and P-92 so they might scent like her personal offspring. Biologists tracked P-65’s actions over the following few days and noticed that she had moved her den, which they are saying was common for mom lions. On July 20, the researchers checked P-65’s former den and noticed the orphaned kittens had been left behind, and P-65’s kittens had been nowhere to be discovered.
“Our shared aim for this undertaking all alongside was to maintain the kittens within the wild and, though the brand new mom didn’t settle for them, we gained appreciable information from this expertise,” Christine Thompson, a Fish and Wildlife biologist stated in a press release.
After the unsuccessful fostering try, the kittens went again to the LA Zoo briefly, and had been then moved to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Heart in Scottsdale, Ariz., the place they’ll spend the remainder of their lives. They’re now about three months previous and are exhibiting typical wild cat behaviors – stalking, wrestling, and climbing. P-91, the feminine, is bolder, whereas P-92, the male, is laid again, in keeping with the wildlife sanctuary.
“They’re inseparable and an important consolation to one another,” Linda Searles, the sanctuary’s director, stated in a press release. They’re subsequent door to 15-year-old “Tocho,” the sanctuary’s most outstanding mountain lion, and can ultimately share his giant enclosure in the event that they get alongside.
As for the orphaned kittens’ mom, P-67 was decided to have died with no meals in her abdomen, and had proof of an intestinal illness generally known as necrotizing enteritis. The necropsy additionally discovered she had been uncovered to 5 various kinds of rat poison. Her presumptive explanation for was septicemia, potential