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Park Officials Say P-78, A Young Mountain Lion, Has Been Killed

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P-78. (Courtesy National Park Service)
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Sad news from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: another mountain lion in the ongoing study there has been killed, likely hit by a vehicle.

The cat, known as P-78, had also been exposed to several lethal toxins used to kill rodents. Biologists found the body along San Francisquito Creek in Valencia. P-78 is the 23rd mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains study to be killed since 2002.

The recreation area's Twitter account reported that the cat had been living in the eastern Santa Susana Mountains and would cross beneath the 5 Freeway along the Santa Clarita River.

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According to park officials, P-78 was first "captured in the central portion of the Santa Monica Mountains on December 11, 2019." At that time, he weighed 84 lbs. The radio collar he was given at that first capture was replaced last November.

"At the time, he was in good physical condition and he had a full belly and had been feeding on a deer and raccoon kill. He weighed about 102 lbs."

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