Inbreeding found in S Calif mountain lions
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- DNA tests indicate three mountain lions born last month in the Santa Monica Mountains were inbred, a troubling sign for a population penned in by major freeways and the urban sprawl of metropolitan Los Angeles.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area announced Thursday that a male and two females born in the Malibu Springs area were sired by an adult male and his daughter.
Urban wildlife expert Seth Riley says the kittens were healthy but there's concern that without new blood, eventually inbreeding could cause physical defects, such as heart defects and sterility.
The mountain range is surrounded by densely populated areas and separated from other wilderness by heavily traveled routes such as U.S. 101, making it difficult for lions to move in and out.