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Mountain lion found dead in Point Mugu State Park

October 24, 2012 |  1:31 pm

Mountain lion
Hikers in Point Mugu State Park stumbled upon a dead mountain lion near Newbury Park over the weekend and officials are now trying to determine how the animal met its end.

The small group of hikers "noticed a bad odor on Sunday and hiked a short distance from the trail to investigate. They discovered the dead mountain lion and reported it," according to a news release from the National Park Service.

A biologist identified the animal as an approximately 1-year-old female whose carcass was later sent to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory for necropsy, the release said. The animal, known as Puma-25, had been fitted with a tracking collar that had recently come off. Officials suspect she had been dead for about a week.

"Mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains face a number of challenges to survive," Seth Riley of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said in the release. "In addition to conflicts with other lions over territory, lions here have to contend with road mortalities, rodenticide poisoning and occasionally disease."

Officials said they do not know how Puma-25 died, but said "the death did not appear to be the result of a conflict with another lion."

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Puma-25, taken by a remote camera in June. Credit: National Park Service

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