Lab tests were unable to determine a cause of death for P-41, a mountain lion whose movements in the Verdugo Mountains were captured in beautiful photographs by citizen scientists, National Park Service officials said.
But the lab results from the state Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory did show the cougar suffered from a common issue among big cats in California’s wildlife-urban interface: poisoning.
“The lab found both first- and second-generation anticoagulants in his liver,” Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist for the Santa Monica Mountains, said in a statement. “We continue to see indications that these poisons are working their way up the food chain through what we believe is unintentional poisoning.”
Residents found the male puma in October near Shadow Hills, officials said. The cat had been dead for several days and was noticeably thin. The body was too decomposed to pinpoint a cause of death, according to the park service said.
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