Traces of rodenticide were found in a mountain lion found dead by hikers in western Malibu, but the cause of death has not been determined.
A necropsy was performed on the partially decomposed remains of the year-old lion, who was known as Puma-25. She had been traveling with her brother and mother in Point Mugu State Park.
“Unfortunately we’ll never know exactly why this animal died,” said Dr. Seth Riley, an expert on urban wildlife with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). “Mountain lions in this region face a number of challenges to survive and rodenticide exposure is certainly a common – and entirely preventable – health risk for local wildlife.”
Laboratory tests conducted by the California Animal Health and Food Safety
Laboratory and the University of California at Davis discovered low levels of exposure to two anticoagulants commonly found in rodenticides.
Anticoagulants lead to uncontrolled bleeding and have been confirmed as the cause of death for two other mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, Riley said.
The death did not appear to be the result of a conflict with another lion,
which is the common cause of death for most lions, from lack of nutrition or plague.
P-25 was one of 26 lions being studied by National Park Service biologists.