A mountain lion with a bizarre deformity on his head has left animal biologists and wildlife experts around the world baffled.
The wild cat was reportedly shot dead after it attacked the hunter’s pet dog last month in Weston, Idaho state, USA. Since then a photograph of a mountain was circulated on various websites sparking heated discussion among internet users.
The picture shows the animal’s head with a set of fully-formed sharp, yellow teeth and smallgrowing out of whiskers on the left side of its head. According to the local media reports, the cougar’s carcass was handed over to the Idaho Fish and Game for further examination.
Local wildlife biologist Zach Lockyer commented on the weird discovery: “It has all of us scratching our heads. It’s a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo.”
While it’s still unclear what caused the deformity, numerous theories emerged:
The teeth could be the remains of a conjoined twin that died in the womb and was absorbed by the surviving foetus;
The growth could be a rare kind of tumour called a teratoma that can develop bones, teeth, hair, fingers and toes;
Second set of teeth could be a result of injury to the lion’s jaw that made teeth healing in a never-seen-before way.
The cougar also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, or catamount is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. It is typically seen at night and is known for its reclusion and largely solitary behaviour.
The lion is an ambush predator and hunts a wide variety of prey, including deer, livestock, rodents and insects. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but in North America have been increasing in recent years as more people enter their territories.