Mountain lion P-81
Mountain lion P-81

National Park Service

P-81: A Kinked Tail: First Evidence of Genetic Inbreeding

Male | Born 2019 (estimated) | Alive

P-81, a young male mountain lion discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains in March 2020, has several physical abnormalities - a kinked tail where the end is shaped like an "L" and only one descended testicle. Read press release here.

Biologists made the discovery just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Estimated to be one and a half years old, he was captured and collared in the Western Santa Monica Mountains on March 4, 2020.

While the young lion was sedated, a full work-up was performed that included collecting blood and tissue samples, conducting an overall welfare check, and placing a GPS radio-collar on him. He weighed 95 lbs. at the time of capture.

A couple of days later, another male mountain lion, also with a kinked tail, was recorded on a remote camera in the same area. Scientists say there is a possibility that they could be related and perhaps siblings. Remote camera footage also shows a third mountain lion in the region that also appears to have a kinked tail, documented by remote camera footage taken in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains between the 405 and Hollywood Freeways.

Last updated: October 20, 2020

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