LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A juvenile male mountain lion was discovered last week in the Santa Monica Mountains, this after an older puma who roamed the area for years was recently found dead.
P-61, a 1 ½ year-old male, was captured last week on the east end of the mountains, the National Park Service reported Wednesday.
The discovery comes after P-27 — described by NPS spokesperson Kate Kuykendall as “the dominant male in this area for the past few years” — was found dead of unknown causes.
P-27 is believed to have been dead for at least one month when his remains were discovered.
Meanwhile, tissue samples are being analyzed to determine if P-61 is related to any other lions in the region.
Earlier this month, a 10-year-old male puma known as P-41 was found dead near the Verdugo Mountains. NPS officials are trying to determine if his death was related to the recent La Tuna Fire that started on Sept. 1 and scorched more than 7,000 acres.
Two mountain lion kittens were discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains in August. They were named P-59 and P-60. Researchers think the father might be P-12.
The region’s freeway network has served to isolate the mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains, biologists say. In April, biologists confirmed that a 4-week-old female mountain lion recently discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains was likely the product of inbreeding.
The NPS has been studying mountain lion movements in the region since 2002 using GPS collars.
In August, the NPS reported that P-55 had successfully crossed the 101 Freeway north from the Santa Monica Mountains into the Santa Susana Mountains. He became only the fourth-known mountain lion to have crossed the 101 Freeway since 2002.
Caltrans has proposed building a wildlife bridge across the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills that would allow animals to travel between the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills.