Mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains each have their own separate territories and essentially leave each other completely alone.
In the relatively small area they are forced to live in, they all are in heavy competition with each other for living space and food. They come together only to mate and to fight and then move on.
Mothers usually stay with their young until they are old enough to kill Mule Deer (1 or 2 years). At that time, the off-spring become competition for the mother’s food and are driven off. Several have been killed trying to find new territories to live in afterwards. P-18 (Puma No. 18) was hit by a motor vehicle trying to cross the 405 at Getty Center in the early morning rush. P-15 was killed by a poacher near Point Mugu State Park. P-22 was found living in Griffith Park early this summer.
Until March of 2009 every lion in the local mountains was related to every other lion. Only a couple of dozen have lived here in the past 10 years since the NPS began its study. Due to deadly fights, death by collision with vehicles and death by other human interactions, including poaching, there have never been more than a dozen lions alive at any one time in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).
Because they were all related, the danger of mutation due to in-breeding threatened their existence. In March of 2009, P-12 crossed the 101 freeway after navigating a transition corridor from the Simi Hills at Liberty Canyon near Calabasas. He brought new genetic material with him as well as the hope for an end to the potential extinction of our local lions due weakness brought on by mutation.
He immediately found and mated with P-13, a local female in the Peter Strauss Ranch area, producing three off-spring, P-17, 18 and 19. P-17 died within a few months with anti-coagulant rodenticide in her blood stream. P-18 lived to become a threat to his mother and began what the NPS calls the dispersal process, heading east in hopes of crossing the 405 at the Getty Center to find a place to live.He was struck and killed by a vehicle in the early morning rush hour. The driver did not even stop. P-19 is a female and is still alive at 2 years of age. P-12 in-bred with her recently, , P-23 and 24, a male and a female now three months old. P-12's territory is expanding.