PRESTON, ID (WFLA) – A mountain lion with a strange deformity on its head was killed in Idaho last week, according to the Idaho Fish and Game officials.
The young male mountain lion was legally harvested in the Weston area about eight miles south of Preston.
The lion was seen attacking a dog on the property in the rural area. It ran away but the hunter tracked and killed it. The dog involved in the attack survived. The hunter reported the kill to the authorities as required by law, and a conservation officer checked the lion and the hunter’s licence.
According to IFG officials, the lion had an unusual deformity on its head – fully formed teeth and small whiskers growing out of the left side of the lion’s forehead.
Idaho Fish and Game officials said they couldn’t definitely explain what the abnormality was. They believe it could be either the remnants of a conjoined twin that had died in the womb or a teratoma tumor. According to the IFG press release, these kinds of tumours are composed of tissues from which teeth, hair and even fingers can develop. Those tumours are very rare in humans and animals.
Fish and Game officials say that although mountain lions are common in Idaho, the encounters with the elusive big cats are rare. In winters when deer and wild turkey come closer to the communities, they attract the predators in the rural and urban areas.
Mountain lions can be legally hunted in Idaho.