MALIBU—On Tuesday, October 24, officials with the National Park Service (NPS) in the Santa Monica Mountains announced the temporary closure of Solstice Canyon due to the presence of a young mountain lion that attempted to attack a small dog that was being walked on a leash.
The dog was not injured during the incident. The NPS reportedly rendered aid to the dog’s owner who was reportedly hiking when the mountain lion went after the dog. The hiker received some minor lacerations on his hand when he grabbed his pup to pull him out of harm’s way.
The National Park Service’s Chief of the Wildlife Division, Seth Riley described the injury telling the LAist that the victim received a puncture wound, and it was “A scratch basically, just minor injuries.”
Officials with the NPS reported seeing a second young mountain lion in the vicinity and as a precaution closed Solstice Canyon until 8 a.m. Thursday, October 26.
MALIBU—On July 29, the National Park Service announced the temporary closure of Solstice Canyon Trail, the educational shelter structure, and the TRW Overlook Trail following multiple reports of bee stings.
Photo By Wolfgang Hasselmann Via Unsplash
According to NPS officials, the aforementioned areas will be closed for proper bee removal for at least the next seven days or “Until Further Notice.” The beehives are concentrated near the trailhead in the NPS buildings. NPS contacted Apiarist (a bee specialist) for assistance in removing the bees from the recreation areas. According to experts, the bees must be agitated for several days for them to move on. On the government website for Solstice Canyon, NPS reminds visitors to be prepared stating: “BE PREPARED by taking water, food, a flashlight, a map, and first-aid supplies. Be alert for ticks, bees, rattlesnakes, and poison oak. Let someone know where you are going.”
MALIBU—On Thursday, July 20, a car traveling on the 101 Freeway reported a collision, with the lone victim being an American black bear, dubbed by the National Park Service (NPS) as, “BB-12.” Authorities confirmed this bear is the same one seen from the Leo Carrillo State Beaches in Malibu, both north and south of Freeway 118, and into the Santa Monica Mountains, where it was determined that he lived alone.
Scientists have indicated that the nearest black bear population is in the Santa Susana Mountains. There has not been any reported evidence of a breeding bear population in the area.
Multiple reports indicate that BB-12 was killed on his sixth time across the Freeway in the vicinity of Newbury Park and Camarillo. The last reported BB-12 citing was as he crossed the 23 Freeway in Moorpark, approximately 16 miles from where the new wilderness crossing is being built. Reports indicate that the $90 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing that began on April 22, 2022, has a completion date of 2025.
According to their website, on May 23, NPS captured 210 pound bear roaming just south of the 101 Freeway. Biologist did a complete examination on the bear and determined it to be a male of approximately 3-4 years of age. It was fitted with a GPS radio tracking collar, an ear tag, and set free.
The following statement came directly from the NPS webpage in May of 2023:
“He appears to be the only bear here in the Santa Monica Mountains, and he’s likely been here for almost two years based on our remote camera data,” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the park’s two-decade mountain lion study. “This seems to be our first resident bear in the 20 years we have conducted mountain lion research in the area. It will be interesting to see how he shares the landscape with our other resident large carnivores.”
SANTA MONICA—On May 18, biologists found three baby mountain lions in the Simi Hills of the Santa Monica Mountain range. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the pups are believed to be the offspring of a 5-6-year-old female mountain lion they are tracking named, P-77. She was captured recently in a remote area and recently had a litter.
The father of the kittens is not on the NPS radar. Researchers have indicated that he probably came over from a nearby mountain range during mating season.
“The NPS has been studying how mountain lions survive in increasingly fragmented and urbanized landscapes since 2002. Since then, researchers have monitored more than 100 mountain lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles,” states the National Park Service website.
The names of the new kits will be: P-113, P-114, and P-115. They too will be captured by NPS to fit with tracking devices.
Regarding the mortality of mountain lions, the NPS reported that as of December 2021, 28 out of 29 mountain lions have tested positive for an anticoagulant rodenticide (rat poison).
It may not be direct poisoning, but secondhand poisoning to kill other rodents. They eat a diet of ground squirrels and other rodents that got poisoned and the mountain lions consume them.
The other cause of death noted by NPS has been from traffic. Despite the wildlife bridges created to protect the mountain lions, the NPS reported that as of 2022, 32 mountain lions (collared and uncollared) have been hit by cars on major roadways.
P-22 was the most famous mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains. He roamed Griffith Park and was the first to grace the front page of a newspaper. He was 12 years old at the time of his death. He was captured after attacking a family dog being walked on a leash. Researchers were concerned about his health due to a noted change in behavior.
According to NPS, when the puma was examined, it was discovered that he had multiple injuries, some to the head, indicating that he may have been hit by a car. P-22 was euthanized. Four local tribes gave P-22, their beloved puma, a proper burial.
The only known mountain lion who lived longer than P-22 was P-1, the father of P-22, who lived 15 years. The birth of P-113, P-114, and P-115 helps the endangered puma population in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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