Four new mountain lion kittens are prowling in a rocky area of the western Santa Monica Mountains, the National Park Service announced.
The new litter, all female, is believed to have been born in late July.
Known to researchers as P-109, P-110, P-111 and P-112, the new kittens were tagged and will be part of an ongoing 20-year-old study into how the big cats’ lives intertwine with the urban environment .
According to the National Park Service, the four cats each weighed about 4 pounds and appeared to be healthy.
To tag the four mountain lions on Aug. 24, a biologist used radio signals to track the mother and make sure she had left the den area. Colleagues then took the kittens a short distance away and did a workup — which involves a physical exam, where body measurements are recorded, and attaching an ear tag — before the mother returned.
“Biologists remain in constant radio contact with each other,” the National Park Service said in a statement. “Hence, there is little chance that they will encounter the mountain lion mother.”
Researchers also added two more adult mountain lions to the study, a pair captured in the Santa Susana Mountains. The cats, P-105 and P-106, are believed to be about 4 and 6 years old, respectively.
The most well-known of the local mountain lions, P-22, was captured Monday by the National Park Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife after officials said he had recently been “exhibiting some signs of distress,” including killing a leashed Chihuahua and attacking another dog.
The big cat was found in the backyard of a home in Los Feliz.