SANTA MONICA—On Friday, October 9, it was announced that three mountain lions had been found dead in the Santa Monica Mountains over the last few weeks.
One of the lions was known as P-34, who had been followed by researchers since she was 3-weeks old. Her body was found on September 30, on a trail in Point Mugu State Park. Her brother P-32, was found a few months ago after being struck by a car. The cause of death for P-34 hasn’t been made official, but so far, researchers have found traces of rodenticide poisoning in her system, which most likely will be ruled as the cause of death.
Several other animals, including two other mountain lions, have died due to rodenticide poisoning. Rodenticide, commonly known as rat poisoning, is designed to target rats but it can be deadly to other animals as well if they ingest too much of it. Researchers believe that the rodenticide was sprinkled in the area in order to reduce the rat population.
In another unrelated incident, about a month ago, the remains of two mountain lion kittens were found in the Santa Monica Mountains. The kittens were said to have only been about 3 months old. One of these kittens was named P-43 and the other was a sibling that researchers had no previous knowledge about until their bodies were discovered. P-43 had been tagged by researchers when it was just 3 weeks old, just like P-34, and P-32.
The cause of death for the two little kittens was that they were eaten by another animal. Researchers are doing their best to discover which species of animal was responsible for the deaths of the two kittens.
“If you’re a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains, this is just not an easy place to grow up,” said Seth Riley, an NPS wildlife ecologist.