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Morning Brief: LA’s Mountain Lions, Sheriff Villanueva Defies Subpoena, Latest Monkeypox Research

A cougar photographed using a night camera
P-35, a female mountain lion, is photographed in the Santa Susana Mountains.
(Courtesy National Park Service)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, July 25.

I have a question for you, my friends. What do you know about our local mountain lions? Honestly, I really didn’t know a lot. Then I read through the interview Julia Paskin and Zoe Kurland did with wildlife ecologist Seth Riley, about what experts have learned in the 20 years they’ve been tracking these cougars. Did you know that other than Mumbai, India, Los Angeles is the only megacity in the whole world where big cats like mountain lions share the same space with us humans?

That’s wild, isn’t it?

You can probably already guess this, but we’ve long been messing up their flow in our large, urban city. In June, an adult female puma was struck and killed by a vehicle in the Malibu Creek State Park area. Then, earlier this month, a mountain lion was killed on the 101 Freeway, which is one of the deadliest freeways for Southern California’s mountain lions. This is more common than we think. In the last 20 years that the National Park Service has been studying them, 30 mountain lions have been killed by a vehicle. A study in 2019 found that Southern California’s big cats could go extinct within 50 years.

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As you can see, conservation in an urban landscape is essential. That’s where tracking comes in. It enables experts to see the potential impacts of urbanization, like freeways and other developments, as well as fragmentation. The Santa Monica Mountains, where about a dozen mountain lions roam, is kind of isolated from other natural habitats, which makes it hard to find mates. This is why LA is working on a massive wildlife crossing over the 101.

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There’s so many fascinating tidbits of trivia I’ve learned about LA’s big cats. I want to learn more about how I can save these beautiful lions myself. I hope you feel inspired to do the same, and please, drive safely!

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go...The Weekend's Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

A man wearing a mask and sunglasses rides a bike along the pedestrian walkway of a new viaduct bridge.
On a recent visit to the new 6th Street bridge, several cyclists opted for the pedestrian walkways along the viaduct rather than the bike lanes.
(Ryan Fonseca

It’s Monday. That means it’s time to see what’s caught my eye on social media this past weekend.

THREE - Little Miss Trendy 

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By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the Little Miss and Mr. memes (the one that deeply resonates with me is “Little Miss Who All Is Going to Be There?” because I always want to know who’s going to be at an event). Now we have some memes specific to L.A. Repost your favorite one on IG and make sure you tag @Laistpics.

TWO - BiCoastal Love…or Disrespect? 

Okay, I need all my people who have lived on BOTH coasts to stand up for me. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the maps of Los Angeles and what boroughs on the east coast best represent areas in L.A. Well, there’s one guy on Instagram who thinks he has it all figured out. I tend to stay out of these conversations, because I simply don’t believe that you can compare any place in L.A. to places in NYC (I get the Bronx being South L.A., but I don’t know... it’s still so different!). Anyway, check out his IG reel.

ONE - Wait…a Barbershop in the middle of a new bridge? 

I just told you the 6th Street Viaduct was shut down AGAIN because of some crazy high jinks. Well, SBRBNLA, a Instagram account that posts about Los Angeles culture, curated a few videos of people doing outrageous things on the new bridge, including one guy giving a haircut in the middle of cars whizzing by him.

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