L.A. biologists study three-legged bobcat B-337 and her earless kitten

The bobcat known as B-337 has a name that only a “Star Wars” service droid maker would like.

But her boring designation belies how unusual she is for a cat.

In a new video taken by the National Park Service, the bobcat was filmed as she gracefully bounded through the brush in the Santa Monica Mountains.

On three legs.

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B-337 is the first three-legged bobcat caught by National Park Service biologists in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, park spokesman Zach Behrens said. She was collared, and will be tracked and studied. Researchers have tracked 336 other bobcats in the area during their study.


It is unclear whether the cat’s missing leg was a birth defect or the result of an injury, but biologists say it doesn’t appear to be slowing her down.

In fact, the small bobcat has been quite active.

Before she landed in a cage trap in December, the bobcat was filmed on one of several cameras posted in the western end of the range. She had been caring for her kitten, known as Bobcat-336, hunting for food.

Just days before she was trapped, her kitten ended up in one of the park’s cages.

“Bobcats catch live prey, so that means she’s managing to hunt with one front leg -- and doing it well enough to feed herself and her kitten,” biologist Joanne Moriarty said in a statement.

B-337’s kitten isn’t missing a leg, but is missing one of his ears. Biologists don’t know why.

Biologists plan to analyze the cats’ DNA.

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