Cougar’s Unusual Fangs has Wildlife Officials Baffled

This young mountain lion with fangs and teeth growing from its head was killed in Idaho. (Photo: Idaho DNR)

This young mountain lion with fangs and teeth growing from its head was killed in Idaho. (Photo: Idaho DNR)

Idaho wildlife officials are baffled at the cause of a young mountain lion’s gross deformity that is gaining worldwide attention and interest from other biologists.

A yearling mountain lion killed by a hunter had a separate set of teeth — including canine fangs — growing from the side of its forehead. The cougar was killed near the Idaho-Utah border in the Weston community.

 

The hunter contacted an Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer, who examined it and then contacted IFG wildlife biologists.

“It has all of us scratching our heads,” said regional wildlife biologist Zach Lockyer. “It’s a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo.”

According to media reports, Lockyer said the teeth were growing out of hard tissue on the left side of the animal’s forehead, an abnormality local Fish and Game biologists say they have never seen before.

Biologists believe the extra teeth could be part of a conjoined twin that did not develop in the womb and was absorbed by the living cougar. Another is that it could be a tumor, called a teratoma, that may contain bones, teeth, hair or other body parts.

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