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Mountain Lion P-74 'Most Likely' Died In The Woolsey Fire

P-74 was captured in September 2018 in the central portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. (Courtesy National Park Service)
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After holding out hope for weeks, researchers with the National Park Service ended their search for mountain lion P-74, saying they believe he perished when the Woolsey Fire tore through the Santa Monica Mountains.

The young male cougar was last spotted via GPS collar on Friday, Nov. 9 about 1 p.m. in a remote area of the central mountains that burned, according to NPS spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall.

"We think it's most likely that P-74 did not survive the fire," Kuykendall told LAist Monday.

Biologists searched the area on foot using a telemetric device for locating the pumas, but found nothing -- no remains, no collar, no signs P-74 made it out alive.

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P-74 was the newest mountain lion being tracked by NPS biologists as part of a study of cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains. (Courtesy National Park Service)

The cougar, believed to be 1 1/2 years old, was the newest being tracked as part of NPS biologists' study of mountain lions in the region.

Kuykendall added that the GPS collar "was working perfectly well until Friday" and it's highly unlikely the collar somehow broke off and P-74 escaped the flames.

"We'll never know for certain what exactly happened," she said.

Several other mountain lions, including the famous P-22, and four bobcats were listed as missing as the blaze devastated their habitat, but all were later found alive.

Kuykendall said researchers are continuing to monitor the animals in the mountains.

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