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One-And-A-Half Year Old Puma Found In Santa Monica Mountains

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P-61. (Photo courtesy NPS)
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A new mountain lion was discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains last week. The young puma, believed to be one-and-a-half years old, has been dubbed P-61.

P-61 was discovered on the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains, according to a statement from Kate Kuykendall, public affairs officer of the National Park Service. The announcement of P-61's discovery came with more news: another puma, P-27, was found dead in the area. P-27 was the "dominant male in this area for the past few years." He died of unknown causes, Kuykendall said.

P-27 was caught on video by a local resident back in 2016:

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L.A. loves its mountain lions, and activists and researchers are working to create safer conditions for them, who remain sequestered because their territory is bordered by the freeways and the sea. As a result of this geographical constraint, inbreeding has been a persistent issue for the animals. A couple adorable cubs were born earlier this year, but are likely the result of inbreeding, according to the L.A. Times.

P-61 still has to undergo tissue samples to see if he's related to any of the other mountain lions in the area—hopefully his father isn't also his "grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather," the way P-12 is for the two baby cubs.