A cougar recently discovered at a trailer park in the Pacific Palisades has become the newest addition to a study on mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, state wildlife officials announced Tuesday.
The 50-pound female now known as P-75 was spotted up a tree on Monday, according to a post on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Facebook page.
State wildlife officials and biologists tranquilized and removed the cougar from the scene, while personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department secured the area, the post stated.
The young mountain lion was outfitted with a GPS tracking collar and given an identification tag in a joint effort between the state fish and wildlife and department and the National Park Service, which runs the mountain lion study.
When the tranquilizer wore off, P-75 was released into the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
She’s the 75th mountain lion to be a part of the study, but only the 10th active, collared cougar currently in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the post.
The last puma to be captured for the study — a young male known as P-74 — is believed to have perished in the Woolsey Fire, which ravaged a large portion of federal park land in the Santa Monica Mountains last November, park service officials said. His last GPS point was recorded on Nov. 9.
P-74 was discovered approximately two short months before he was presumed dead. His remains have not been found.
As for the newest addition to the mountain lion study, officials did not immediately have information on P-75’s parents.
As noted by the park service previously, inbreeding has been a serious, recurrent problem among the isolated cougar population in the mountain area south of the 101 Freeway.
There have been multiple cases of inbreeding documented in that area throughout the study, which dates back to 2002.
“The 101 Freeway is a major barrier to movement, which restricts the ability of mountain lions to come into and go out of the area, and unfortunately leads to a lack of breeding options,” biologist Jeff Sikich said last September, after the discovery of four kittens — the product of P-19, a female mountain lion who is believed to have mated with P-56, her grandson.
The lions from that litter are about a year old and are all alive, according to the park service’s website.