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New study shows mountain lions may not be hanging out in neighborhoods as often as thought

Mountain lion P-22, which was at times spotted in the Griffth Park area.
National Park Service
Mountain lion P-22, which was at times spotted in the Griffth Park area.

Research shows the big cats in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties try to avoid developed areas.

It makes big news when it happens. But, a new study by National Park Service biologists concludes that Ventura and Los Angeles County’s mountain lions aren’t entering neighborhoods as often as people think.

Researchers looked at the movement of more than two dozen mountain lions wearing radio tracking collars over a 15 year period. They found mountain lions only visited urban areas about 1% of the time.

But, the just published study also shows that the big cats spent more time than expected near developed areas.

The researchers think it may be because deer are living closer to neighborhoods. They say the mountain lions are following what’s their main source of food.

The study's findings were published the the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.