animals

WATCH: Three-Legged Bobcat, Mother to One-Eared Kitten, Runs Free in Santa Monica Mountains

Biologists are fascinated by this bobcat's ability to survive and thrive in the wild

A missing leg is not preventing a female bobcat found in the Santa Monica Mountains from taking care of itself and its one-eared kitten.

National Park Service researchers spotted this three-legged bobcat through a camera on the Western side of the range. The bobcat was then caught and looked at by biologists, but a cause for the missing leg could not be determined.

"It's not clear whether the missing leg is a birth defect or an early-life injury," the NPS said in a blog post.

The bobcat -- identified as B-337 -- was given a tracking collar and its blood samples were also analyzed in hopes of finding out more information. It was then released back into the wild.

National Park Service
The one-eared kitten of the three-legged bobcat was also found and caught by biologists in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was then also released. Feb. 17, 2016.

"Bobcats catch live prey, so that means she's managing to hunt with one front leg--and doing it well enough to feed herself and her kitten," said biologist Joanne Moriarty in the post.

The bobcat's kitten, which is not missing a leg, had been caught a few days prior. Biologists did discover that the kitten is missing its left ear.

Biologists say that the only noticeable difference from these bobcats to others not having deformities is that their home base or their area of roaming is not as expansive.

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