Litter of mountain lion kittens rescued from under picnic table in Ventura County

State News

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KGET) — Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife discovered a littler of four mountain lion kittens underneath a picnic table at an office building last week.

“We did everything we could to reunite these kittens with their mother, but I’m afraid she was likely already dead or had abandoned them,” said Jeff Sikich, an NPS biologist with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The kittens, all females, were alone and thin but in stable condition and appeared to be about six weeks old. The biologists who discovered the kittens originally left them alone in hopes that their mother would return.

Biologists said mountain lion mothers may leave their kittens for two to three days to hunt and then return. Although the biologists still did not know the location of the mother, they set out bait a couple of canyons away in case she was having a difficult time finding food.  

“The ideal situation is to keep these kittens wild and in their natural environment. That was the goal, but unfortunately it didn’t work out in this case because the mother was not returning, and the condition of the kittens were deteriorating,” Sikich said.

The kittens were eventually transferred to a local veterinarian for treatment where two died. The next day, the surviving two kittens were taken to a veterinary hospital in Orange County for treatment.

They will be housed at the Orange County Zoo until they can find a permanent home.

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