Two more mountain lion kittens were just discovered in the mountains that jut into the greater Los Angeles area, wildlife officials announced Thursday.
The brother and sister, identified as P-46 and P-47, were implanted with tracking devices after researchers located their den in a remote area of the Santa Monica Mountain Range, according to the National Park Service.
They are just the latest addition to a mountain lion population that, despite the dangers and limits posed by a dense urban area and freeway network, continues to thrive.
"We continue to see successful reproduction, which indicates that the quality of the natural habitat is high for such a relatively urbanized area," Jeff Sikich, a biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, said in a statement. "But these kittens have many challenges ahead of them, from evading other mountain lions, to crossing freeways, to dealing with exposure to rat poison."
The kittens' mother, P-19, has herself been tracked by biologists since 2010 — when she was just a few weeks old. Researchers were able to find her latest litter based on the way her GPS locations were localized over a three-week period, indicating that she was likely denning, the park service said.
The den was well-hidden among large boulders and thick brush, which can be seen in a video of kittens being a bit spunky as biologists approached.
Jason Wells is deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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