Here kitty, kitty.
The National Park Service in Santa Monica recently released these rare photos of a 15-month-old female mountain lion cub, called “P-33”, feeding with her mother (P-19) and brother (P-32).
Some of the images below are pretty graphic but capture a rare glimpse of these majestic, large cats in their natural habitat doing what they do best: surviving.
WARNING: If you’re squeamish, then admire this adorable lion cub photobombing the camera but don’t scroll down!
If you’re even the slightest bit curious what it’s like to live in the wild, then continue on.
These wild mountain lions live in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in southern California. The National Park Service has dispatched a number of motion-sensor-activated cameras throughout the region to observe mountain lions and other animals in the wild.
The mountain lion, like the pack shown here, is the largest wildcat in North America and mainly dine on mammals like deer, squirrels, and beavers.
Here, the family has come across a freshly killed deer. These large cats usually begin feasting by tearing open the animal’s abdominal cavity and devouring the vital organs, like the heart and liver.
In the photo below, the mother on the left takes a mouthful of venison as the brother looks like he’s ready to do the same. The collar on the male-cub is to help biologists track his location, but the device is designed to fall off of him as he matures into adulthood.
Once the organs are down the hatch, the cats go to work on the hide. Here’s a picture of P-33 biting through the tough deer flesh.
Anyone who has tried venison might agree with this cub that it’s lip-licking good.
Occasionally, the cats take a minute away from their tasty meal to check out the cameras watching them.
These carnivorous cats sit at the top of the food chain, but are threatened by habitat loss and hunted for their dangers they pose to livestock.
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