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article imageIdaho mountain lion with strange deformity baffles biologists

By Megan Hamilton     Jan 11, 2016 in Odd News
Weston - A mountain lion with a highly unusual deformity has officials at Idaho's Department of Fish and Game quite baffled.
The big cat had been legally culled, and when it was presented, officials could see visible teeth sprouting out of its forehead.
Biologists hope to analyze the creature to determine what caused this rare sight, KBOI reports.
An unidentified hunter caught the yearling cat near Weston last week. Biologists with Idaho Fish and Game say this is the first time they've ever seen such a "bizarre" deformity before, CBS News reports.
The mountain lion was initially spotted southwest of Preston in late December attacking a dog on someone's property. The big cat escaped at the time, but left tracks that hunters were able to follow. Fortunately, the dog survived the attack.
Hours after the attack, a hunter and his dogs found the cat and killed it legally that day.
ABC7 News, noted that the department had a few ideas about what may have caused the puzzling deformity. There's the possibility that the teeth may be the remnants of a conjoined twin. In this case, it would have died in the womb and been absorbed into the other fetus. The other possibility is that it may have been a teratoma tumor. While these tumors are rare in humans and other animals, they can grow tissue, teeth, hair, and, really strangely, appendages, the department said.
After the hunter culled the cat, a conservation officer checked his license, recorded information regarding the cull, and took material from the cat to verify its age. It's a process that's required by law.
In Idaho, mountain lions are common, and as such are considered big game like mule deer are. A hunter can only harvest one lion each year, the depart reports.
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