Litter of mountain lion kittens abandoned by their mom and found under picnic table

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A litter of mountain lion kittens were found under a picnic table near foothills in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks. The four tiny kittens, estimated to be about six-weeks-old, were spotted at the end of November. Two of the kittens did not survive, and the other two are being cared for at a Southern California veterinary hospital.

According to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, biologists with the state’s wildlife agency decided to act when the mother had not shown up. The kittens were examined and outfitted with small radio collars and left in a makeshift den monitored by cameras hoping the mom would return at night. It was soon determined the mother had either died or abandoned her kittens. Three days later, two of the kittens had died and biologists decided to take the surviving two to a veterinary hospital where they will be moved and then temporarily housed at the Orange County Zoo until a permanent home can be found for them.

Because the kittens were in a public space, biologists continued to monitor them hoping their mother would return. When this didn’t happen, CDFW, with help from the NPS, took the kittens to a local veterinarian where two died overnight (P-100 and P-102). The other two kittens were transferred to a veterinary hospital in Orange County where they are still being treated.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Facebook page

Everything possible was done to reunite the kittens with their mother. The ideal situation would have been to keep the kittens wild and free, but sadly it didn’t work out that way.

Sometimes Mother Nature is very cruel, but at least two of the kittens survived and it is hoped they can lead long, healthy lives.

(Photo via Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

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