A missing mountain lion kitten was found safe in Chatsworth following the death of his mother, brother and sister, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced in a Facebook post on Saturday.
P-50 was spotted in a gardening center in Chatsworth, south of California State Route 118 on Friday, according to the department.
Officers tranquilized the animal and soon discovered a small ear tag identifying the young, healthy mountain lion as P-50.
Evidence at the scene suggested that the lion had been successfully hunting small mammals and was in good shape, according to wildlife officials.
P-50 went missing after a car fatally struck his mother, mountain lion P-39, on California State Route 118 in December 2016.
“Although it’s not entirely surprising, this story is a great example of the innate survival instinct that mountain lions possess,” said Rebecca Barboza, a wildlife environmental scientist. ”Wild animals are adaptable and have an uncanny ability to survive in these types of situations.”
Scientists believed that the mother lion’s 7 to 8-month-old kittens, P-51, P-52 and P-50, were old enough to hunt and survive on their own, according to the department, but two of the siblings were killed.
P-51 and P-52 were fatally struck by separate cars on the 118 Freeway in January, only one month after their mother’s death, wildlife officials said.
Officers moved P-50 to more suitable habitat in the Santa Susana Mountains after a physical examination and he was able to safely walk away on his own.