Two mountain lion kittens that survived after a litter of four was found under a picnic table are being cared for at a Southern California veterinary hospital, officials said.
The four tiny cats estimated to be about six weeks old were spotted Nov. 29 outside an office building near foothills in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, according to a statement Thursday from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
After the mother never showed up, biologists with the state’s wildlife agency gave the kittens a checkup and outfitted them with small radio collars. The biologists then set the kittens up in a makeshift den monitored by cameras, in the hopes that the mother was returning at night.
Officials soon determined the mother had either died or abandoned the litter.
Two of the kittens were found dead early on Dec. 2, and biologists took the other two to a veterinary hospital in Orange County, the statement said.
The animals will be temporarily housed at the Orange County Zoo until a permanent home can be found for them.