Adorable Mountain Lion Kittens Found in Santa Monica Mountains Likely Product of Inbreeding

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National Park Service
A new litter of kittens was discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains, and while the newest members of the "P" family -- P-70, P-71, P-72, and P-73 -- appeared to be in good health, researchers say they are the product of inbreeding. It's a growing problem with mountain lions south of the 101 Freeway, since the freeway prevents them from exploring beyond the area, they said Sept. 4, 2018.
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National Park Service
A litter of adorable mountain lion kittens, approximately 4 weeks old, was found in the Santa Monica Mountains, the National Park Service said Tuesday.n

nThe kittens, two boys and two girls, joined the "P" family. They were dubbed P-70, P-71, P-72, and P-73.

nResearchers said that although the animals were in good health, they were likely the product of inbreeding, which has been a growing problem with the cats that live south of the 101 Freeway.n

n"The 101 Freeway is a major barrier to movement, which restricts the ability of mountain lions to come into and go out of the area, and unfortunately leads to a lack of breeding options," said Jeff Sikich, biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

nThe kittens were birthed by P-19, researcher said. They believe she mated with her grandson, P-56, a 3-year-old mountain lion.

nOne solution is in the works, though. Caltransand others are planning to build a wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway in the Liberty Canyon area.

nSee photos of the litter below.
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National Park Service
Researchers discovered a litter of four kittens, two boys and two girls, in the Santa Monica Mountains, they announced Sept. 4, 2018.
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Ryann Vargas/NBC Bay Area
Researchers discovered a litter of four kittens, two boys and two girls, in the Santa Monica Mountains, they announced Sept. 4, 2018.
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National Park Service
Researchers discovered a litter of four kittens, two boys and two girls, in the Santa Monica Mountains, they announced Sept. 4, 2018.
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@PAPBA911/Twitter
Researchers discovered a litter of four kittens, two boys and two girls, in the Santa Monica Mountains, they announced Sept. 4, 2018.
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