Woodland stream.

Another Santa Monica Lion Crosses the Road

The following story was written by David Montero and originally posted on the Pasadena Star-News website.

National Park Service officials reported this morning that a second mountain lion in a month has crossed the 101 Freeway from its habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Since NPS biologists have been tracking mountain lions in the area in 2002, only two of the wild cats had managed to make the passage. This one - known as P-32 - is believed to have traversed the highway near the border of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo on the morning of April 3.

P-32 is the first male mountain lion to make the dash across the freeway. The previous two were females - one known as P-12 made it in 2009, and the other was P-32's sister, P-33.

Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, said the crossing marks a chance for the first male to establish new territory and avoid larger cats in the area where he'd wandered previously.

After crossing the Ventura Freeway, the young male - estimated to be 17 months old - is believed to have made his way across State Route 23 near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, then settled in the Simi Hills. His sister, park officials said, returned to the area where she originally crossed Highway 101.

Biologists have been studying the behavior of the mountain lions for the past 13 years, and there have been a total of about 40 that were identified. Each is named by the number in which they were discovered - meaning P-32 is the 32nd puma scientists discovered.

The crossing follows a flurry of mountain lion news in recent weeks. Earlier this month, P-22 - dubbed The Hollywood Cat - made headlines when it was found in the crawlspace of a home near Griffith Park.



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