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Mountain Lion P-47 Found Dead

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Mountain lion P-47 (Photo courtesy Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
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Mountain lion P-47, a 3-year-old male, has been found dead, possibly as a result of ingesting rat poison.

According to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, P-47's remains were found on March 21 in a central area of the Santa Monica Mountains. Tests performed after his death found that he'd ingested six different anticoagulant compounds and had internal hemorrhaging in his head and lungs.

It's not the first time that a mountain lion in the area has been found to have ingested rat poison. In February, P-53, a 3 ½-year-old female, was discovered with mange. Researchers suspected it was the result of ingesting anticoagulants. Hers was the fifth recorded case of mange among the park's mountain lions.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund launched a campaign last year to encourage residents to refrain from using rat poison, in an effort to safeguard the lions' health.

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P-47 weighed 150 pounds at his last capture. Researchers believe that he and other sickened mountain lions likely ingested the toxins by eating other creatures who had directly consumed the poison.