Puma Profiles: P-3

Mountain lion among sticks and brush.

Initial capture date: Summer 2003

This male was the first lion to be studied outside the Santa Monica Mountains. Captured in the summer of 2003 at around the age of one or more, he roamed the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains. While most of L.A.’s freeways have been a longtime stoppage for mountain lion movement, P-3 was the first lion to show us that safely crossing a freeway is possible. He regularly crossed the 118 Freeway (at least 14 times), indicating that there is the potential for connectivity between the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains. Moreover, P-3 was documented using the safe underpass of the large hiker/equestrian tunnel at Corriganville Park. Interestingly enough, genetic testing revealed that P-3 and P-2 are half siblings, sharing the same unknown father. Yet P-3 and P-2 were on opposite sides of the freeway (at least while we tracked them). That would seem to indicate that someone (P-2, P-3, or a relative) successfully crossed the 101 at one point. P-3 died in the fall of 2004 due to anticoagulant poisoning (i.e. rat poison), an unusual way for lions to die. Studying lions outside the Santa Monica Mountains help researchers identify habitat linkages and wildlife movement corridors critical to the survival of lions and other wildlife in the region.

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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Last updated: January 19, 2023