A 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. The lion was harvested near Weston, Idaho on Dec. 30 and baffled wildlife officials after a conservation official sent a picture to the Idaho Fish and Game’s Southeast Regional Office in Pocatello.
Idaho Fish and Game said in a news release officials cannot fully explain the abnormal deformity on the lion’s head, but did offer some theories as to why the lion had teeth and, apparently, whiskers growing out of the part of its head.
The release said: "Idaho Fish and Game cannot definitively explain why this abnormality developed on this mountain lion. 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. Biologists from the southeast region of Idaho Fish and Game have never seen anything like this particular deformity before."
Authorities say that on December 30, 2015, the mountain lion was observed attacking a dog. The mountain lion ran off and its tracks were followed through other properties and eventually to a place where the cat had retreated to the hills. Within three hours of the attack, the hunter began tracking the mountain lion with the use of hounds and harvested the cat legally that same day. The dog involved in the attack survived.