Puma Profiles: P-81

Mountain Lion looking into camera at night.

Initial capture date: March 4, 2020

P-81, a young male mountain lion discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains in March 2020, had several physical abnormalities - a kinked tail where the end is shaped like an "L" and only one descended testicle. Read press release here.

Biologists made the discovery just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Estimated to be 1.5 years old, he was captured and collared in the Western Santa Monica Mountains on March 4, 2020.

While the young lion was sedated, a full work-up was performed that included collecting blood and tissue samples, conducting an overall welfare check, and placing a GPS radio-collar on him. He weighed 95 pounds at the time of initial capture.

A couple of days later, another male mountain lion, also with a kinked tail, was recorded on a remote camera in the same area. Scientists say there is a possibility that they could be related and perhaps siblings. Remote camera footage also shows a third mountain lion in the region that also appears to have a kinked tail, documented by remote camera footage taken in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains between the 405 and Hollywood Freeways.

On Jan. 22, 2023, P-81 died likely due to a vehicle strike on the Pacific Coast Highway in the western Santa Monica Mountains. Read press release here.

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Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Last updated: January 27, 2023