Litter of three female mountain Lion kittens discovered in Simi Hills


 National Park Service (NPS) biologists announced a few days ago that mountain lion P-77 gave birth to a litter of three female kittens in the Simi Hills – an area between the Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountains. The kittens are now christened P-113, P-114, and P-115.

While the mother was out hunting, scientists located the kittens in a dense patch of poison oak in the middle of an area with large boulders on May 18. They said all three kittens appeared healthy and were about 24 days old, based on when P-77 first arrived at the site.  

The mother is estimated to be five or six years old, and was first captured in the Simi Hills in November 2019. She established her adult home range in this smaller habitat patch between the 101 and 118 freeways.  Biologists suspect that this may be her second litter. P-77 has previously crossed both freeways and spent short periods in the Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountains. 

The father of the new litter is presently unknown, but since NPS biologists are not currently following an adult male in the Simi Hills, they suspect the father came from the Santa Susana Mountains and then went back. 

“It’ll be interesting to learn how these kittens use the landscape once they get older and disperse, particularly whether they decide to stay in the Simi Hills or cross freeways to enter larger natural areas.” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the NPS mountain lion study. “It’s encouraging to see reproduction in our small population of mountain lions, especially after all the mortalities we’ve documented in the last year.”