The last surviving cub of mountain lion P39 was located in a northwestern San Fernando Valley plant nursery on Friday.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers were called to the gardening center in Chatsworth, south of State Route 118, after reports of a young cougar in the area. After the male cat was tranquilized, officers found a small ear tag identifying it as P50 -- one of three kittens born to P39, who was struck and killed by a car on State Route 118 in December 2016.
At the time of P39's death, scientists believed her 7 to 8-month-old kittens were old enough to hunt and survive on their own. Officials said two of the three kittens were unfortunately killed after being struck by cars -- as their mother was.
P50's whereabouts were unknown until now, Wildlife officials said.
”Wild animals are adaptable and have an uncanny ability to survive in these types of situations,” said CDFW Rebecca Barboza, a wildlife environmental scientist.
The surviving young cougar went through a brief physical examination by wildlife officers before being moved to a habitat in the Santa Susana Mountains. He was able to safely walk on his own after waking up from the tranquilizer.
CDFW staff report he is healthy, in good shape and there was evidence on-scene that it was successfully hunting small mammals.