A hunter in Idaho has shot and killed an incredibly bizarre – and gag-inducing – big cat.
The mountain lion was legally hunted on Dec. 30 in southeastern Idaho after it attacked a dog on private land in the Weston area. But this young, male cougar also had what the Idaho Department of Fish and Game simply called an “unusual deformity.”
That’s an understatement. Take a look.
“The mountain lion had an unusual deformity-fully-formed teeth and what appears to be small whiskers were growing out of hard fur-covered tissue on the left side of the animal’s forehead,” the department said in a statement over the weekend clarifying the status of the kill.
News of a forehead full of fangs has created a buzz around the world.
An additional picture of this ear-toothed mountain lion from Idaho pic.twitter.com/xKVlT4YaIc
— CarnivoreScience (@CarnivoreSci) January 10, 2016
Now, biologists are speculating about the cause of the deformity, but officials may never know.
“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.”
The department is hoping to further analyze the animal, but the hunter is not required to turn over the animal. And local reports say he plans to have the deformed cat stuffed. Because of course you would.