P-73: Part of Mama Cat P-19's Fourth Litter
Female | Born July 2018 | Status UnknownResearchers discovered this litter of four-week old mountain lion kittens, including P-73, in July 2018. The two males and two females (known as P-70, P-71, P-72, and P-73), were found in a remote area of the western Santa Monica Mountains. P-70 and P-72 are the males. P-71 and P-73 are the females.
The kittens appeared to be in good health, but researchers have reason to believe that they are the product of inbreeding, a serious problem facing the isolated mountain lion population south of the 101 freeway. National Park Service biologists took tissue samples, conducted a general health check, and marked the kittens with ear tags. This is the sixteenth litter of kittens marked by National Park Service biologists at a den site.
P-19 is the mother and researchers believe the father is her three-year-old grandson, P-56. P-19 is P-23’s mother, P-56’s mother. P-56 is also a product of inbreeding since his mom, P-23, mated with her own father (and also grandfather), P-12.
Although genetic testing is required to confirm P-56’s paternity, the two mountain lions spent time together 90 days prior to the birth of the kitten, which is the gestation period for mountain lions. Females, however, can breed with multiple males during an estrus cycle, a recurring period of sexual receptivity and fertility in many mammals.
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Last updated: October 20, 2020