A hunter tracking down a mountain lion that attacked a dog in the US state of Idaho has stumbled upon a rare deformed big cat. The images of that deformed big cat have now become an Internet sensation.
The deformed mountain lion, which was legally killed by an unidentified hunter, was found to have a set of teeth growing out of the side of his head. Mountain lions are common in Idaho and they usually prey on deer, elk, moose and other wild animals but sometimes attack domesticated pets and livestock.
Mountain lions can also be legally hunted in Idaho. They can be pursued during certain seasons in areas that are open to hunting and have the proper license and tag.
Meanwhile, the Idaho authorities have released a statement, in which they have stated that they cannot fully explain the abnormal deformity on the lion’s head. However, they did offer some theories as to why the lion had teeth and apparently whiskers growing out of the part of its head.
Zack Lockyear, an Idaho biologist, said, “It has all of us scratching our heads. It’s a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo. 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 deformity was a teratoma tumor. These kinds of tumors are composed of tissue from which teeth, hair, and even fingers and toes can develop. They are rare in humans and animals.”
According to the officials, mountain lion was killed at the end of the year. It was initially seen attacking a dog on the hunter’s rural property in Weston, after which it was chased off, but its tracks were followed through other properties in the area and then through the hills. Within three hours of the attack, the hunter tracked the animal with the use of hounds and killed the big cat legally. Meanwhile, the hunter’s dog survived the big cat’s attack.