Hunter kills deformed mountain lion in Idaho

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 9, 2016 at 11:44 AM

WESTON , Idaho, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Biologists at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are hoping to get a closer look at a mountain lion with a strange deformity that was recently killed by a local hunter.

Wildlife experts said the mountain lion, with an extra set of fully-formed teeth and whiskers growing from its forehead, was found in the small town of Weston.

"Idaho Fish and Game cannot definitively explain why this abnormality developed on this mountain lion," officials said. "It is possible that the teeth could be the remnants of a conjoined twin that died in the womb and was absorbed into the other fetus. It is also possible that the deformity was a teratoma tumor."

The hunter legally tracked and killed the mountain lion after it attacked a dog, officials said. The lion was taken to a local conservation officer to be checked, as per state law, where the deformity was photographed.

"It has all of us scratching our heads," regional wildlife biologist Zach Lockyer told the Idaho State Journal. "It's a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo."

Biologists have requested permission to further examine the mountain lion, but the hunter has not responded. Idaho law does not require the hunter, who has not been identified, give up the dead animal.

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