It sounds like a hoax: A mountain lion with a second set of teeth growing out of its forehead.
But the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has confirmed that the young male mountain lion legally shot south of Preston had a growth on its head with a full set of fangs.
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The growth, which hints at the snout of another cougar, had small whiskers as well.
It came to the department's attention after it was shot at by a landowner, who saw it attacking a neighbor's dog. Although the mountain lion ran off, the hunter followed it into the hills with his hounds and eventually killed it.
The hunter had a valid license and tag and had reported it to the conservation office as required by law.
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According to biologists at the Idaho Fish and Game, the growth could be the result of a conjoined twin that died in the womb. Sometimes the surviving fetus will absorb the tissue of the twin into its own.
Another explanation is that it could be a teratoma tumor, a growth composed of tissue that makes up teeth, hair, and even fingers and toes. These tumors are rare, but have been seen before in humans and animals.
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Whatever the case, the site of the animal is both frightening and sad. Although it had survived into young adulthood, it's unclear if the cougar suffered from the tumor.
The hunter is not required to hand over the carcass to the conservation office.
via Idaho State Journal