Southern California mountain lion crosses two freeways to settle in new area

Southern California mountain lion crosses two freeways to settle in new area

A Southern California mountain lion named by researchers as P-32 has moved and settled in a new area, National Park Service wildlife researchers announced.

The researchers said P-32, a 1-year-old male puma who was initially living in his family den in the Santa Monica Mountains, moved on his own and settled into an open, natural area of the Simi Hills.

The lion's move to the Simi Hills, which is not far from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, is a rare as well as significant shift for the region's cougar community. To reach the new area, the lion crossed two freeways, including the busy eight-lane U.S. 101.

Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, said, "It's hugely significant that P-32 was able to disperse out of the Santa Monica Mountains so that he has a chance to avoid larger males and eventually establish his own territory."

Prior to P-32's crossing, just one mountain lion in the previous thirteen years of study could successfully crossed the freeways.

The researchers welcomed the lion's move because almost all of the young male mountain lions studied by them die prematurely due to vehicle collisions or fights with a dominant adult male.

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