Mountain Lion Is The Second To Ever Survive The Journey East Of The 405
Our majestic Griffith Park mountain lion, dubbed P-22, isn't the only one that's managed to cross east over the 405 Freeway. Scientists have confirmed that a second cougar has made the journey over to the other side from the Santa Monica Mountains.
Christopher Stills, an actor and musician, tweeted this black-and-white photo of a mountain lion on Nov. 29. It was taken by a home security camera, according to the L.A. Times. He wrote that this was picture was captured around the Mulholland Drive area of Beverly Park:
Although the photo is blurry, after speaking to Stills and examining the photo, scientists were able to confirm that it is indeed a mountain lion and not a bobcat. “You can tell from the tail and the body that that's clearly not a bobcat," Seth Riley, a biologist for the National Park Service, told KPCC.
Only P-22—who has gained popularity after a National Geographic photographer snapped a stunning picture of him in front of the Hollywood sign last year—is known to have safely crossed the busy freeway. Researchers have been tracking the cougar with a GPS collar.
Kate Kuykendall, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, tells KPCC that this second mountain lion could be one of two young cougars, who are male and female and were born a year to a year-and-a-half ago. There are only about eight or nine mountain lions that live in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Times reports.
Over the summer, researchers were finding some bizarre behavior exhibited by mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains—like heavy inbreeding (from lack of genetic diversity) and that they were killing each other off. And it had to do a lot with them getting trapped in by the surrounding freeways, especially the 101.
While it's impressive that this second mountain lion was able to cross the 405 Freeway, it may also pose some problems. Kuykendall says that if it's able to go over the 101 Freeway, it could end up in Griffith Park, where P-22 now lives. But Griffith Park is too small for two mountain lions, and if it's the younger male cougar, then he might have to face off with P-22. If it's a female mountain lion, she could potentially mate with P-22, but then again, male cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains have been known to kill female mountain lions.