Death Of Young Freeway-crossing Mountain Lion

The National Park Service (NPS) recently discovered the remains of mountain lion P-55 (shown last year rubbing his cheek across a rock, which is believed to be a way to mark territory).

According to NPS Ranger Kate Kuykendahl, P-55 was estimated to be only three years old and quite the entrepreneur, who managed to cross the 101 Freeway twice, once going north, and then coming back south.

His cause of death is unknown because the collar he was wearing failed to emit a mortality signal. By the time a biologist had found him, his remains were already too decomposed to determine the reason of his demise. Possible causes of death to this seemingly healthy animal include rodenticide poisoning or perhaps a fight with another male, although there were no signs of a struggle in the area where his body was found.

P-55’s home range consisted of the northwestern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, generally west of Las Virgenes Road and mostly north of Mulholland. He was the subject of news coverage in February when he was photographed peering through the sliding glass door of a home in Westlake Village. He was a beautiful animal who survived longer than most males in the Santa Monica Mountains but ultimately met his end at a relatively young age.
Carrying on P-55’s legacy, a new cat recently moved into the Verdugo Mountains on the other side of the Los Angeles Basin. Named Adonis, this male mountain lion was described as young, healthy, and flawless. Adonis is the first male to be spotted in that area since the death of P-41 last October.

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