A photo of a severely deformed mountain lion in Idaho has quickly taken the internet by storm.
The animal, which was killed after it entered a residential neighborhood and attacked a dog, appears to have a second jaw with a full set of teeth protruding from its forehead. The shocking image has both intrigued and disgusted many who can’t comprehend the cat’s strange physical deformity.
Weston, Idaho resident Tyler Olson first encountered the mountain lion when he attacked his dog on Dec. 30. “My first response was to scream and wave it off,” Olson told Fox10. After the incident, a hunting group with a license to kill mountain lions caught word of the attack and hunted down the dangerous animal.
“They tracked it down and got it later in the afternoon, brought it to show us,” Olson explained. “I did see that weird feature on top of its head, and handle it. It was pretty strange.”
Biologists are puzzled as to the cause of the mountain lion’s deformity. Animal researchers say there are two main theories for the cause of the lion’s frightening appearance. The second jaw and teeth may have been part of a conjoined twin that died before birth. The mountain lion could have also had what is known as a teratoma tumor, which can cause the growth of teeth and hair in unusual areas on the body.
We may never be certain on the true cause of this lion’s deformity. After it was killed, the hunter brought the lion into the Idaho Fish and Game offices to have a tooth removed. This harvesting process helped the organization keep track of the ages of all cats that are killed in the area.
After a few photos and a tooth extraction, the lion was released back to the hunter, who plans to have it mounted. Although this seems like a questionable choice, it would definitely be a great tool for scaring off any unwanted visitors.