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With little genetic influx, mountain lions in Santa Monica Mountains NRA begin to show deformities

Mountain lions with crooked tails have been spotted in the Santa Monica mountains, an unsettling sign of extremely low genetic diversity within an isolated population of less than two dozen individuals roaming the rugged canyonlands just north of Los Angeles.

In early March, biologists examined a young sedated male mountain lion. The cougar, designated P-81, had a kinked tail shaped like the letter L and only one descended testicle, a condition known as cryptorchidism.

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