LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bobcat with three legs and whose kitten is missing an ear is living and thriving in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the National Park Service.
The bobcat, known as B-337, is the first three-legged bobcat caught by National Park Service biologists in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, according to park spokesman Zach Behrens. She was collared and will be tracked and studied along with 336 other bobcats in the area.
Biologists said it’s not clear whether the missing leg is a birth defect or an early-life injury, but she doesn’t seem to be letting it get in her way.
“Bobcats catch live prey, so that means she’s managing to hunt with one front leg–and doing it well enough to feed herself and her kitten,” biologist Joanne Moriarty said in a statement.
Park officials posted video of B-337 being released from a cage and running into the brush.
The kitten, called B-336, was captured by biologists a few days before his mother was caught. He is not missing a leg, but he is missing an ear, and biologists are not sure why.
Moriarty says the only difference they’ve seen between these two cats and others being tracked is that their home range appears to be “on the smaller end of normal for a female bobcat.