P-99 is the newest mountain lion in the groundbreaking study of the Santa Monica Mountains

A female mountain lion caught by biologists last month is the 99th to be found in a groundbreaking study of the cougar population in the Santa Monica Mountains, officials said Sunday.

P-99 was caught in the western part of the extensive area on September 8th and was fitted with a GPS collar, according to the National Park Service.

The puma is estimated to be 2 to 3 years old and weighed 75 pounds when examined under anesthesia. Biological samples were also collected and an ear tag was attached, officials said in a statement.

She is the fifth big cat to be caught in the Santa Monica Mountains this year. Her ancestry was not immediately known, so it is still unclear whether one or both of her parents were also followed by the valet.

NPS biologists have been studying mountain lion populations across the range for nearly 20 years to see how the pumas survive in the increasingly fragmented sprawl of Los Angeles County.

To date, 99 big cats have been provided with a radio collar as part of the study; However, according to the statement, only 13 are currently being prosecuted.

Valet parking officials estimate that approximately 10 to 15 adult mountain lions can be supported by the Santa Monica Mountains area, which includes areas south of Freeway 101 and west of Freeway 405.

With its sprawling neighborhoods and busy highway system, LA is just one of two mega-cities in the world home to the widespread, nocturnal species – something that NPS calls “evidence of the quality of open space and the still-living connectivity of habitats “Denotes remains.”


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