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Mountain lion struck and killed by car in Santa Monica Mountains was loaded with rat poison

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National Park Service
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P-54 was struck and killed by a car in the Santa Monica Mountains over the summer. A necropsy showed her body was filled with different kinds of rat poison.

P-54 had five different kinds of rodenticides in her system at time of death. Her unborn fetuses were also loaded with different kinds of rat poison.

A necropsy shows that a mountain lion which was struck, and killed by a car in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area was loaded with multiple types of rat poison.

The mountain lion known as P-54 died in June, as she was trying to cross Las Virgenes Road near Mulholland Highway. She was pregnant at the time. Because she was part of an ongoing study of the big cats, her body was taken to a San Bernardino County facility for a full necropsy.

The tests showed that P-54 had five different types of rodenticides in her system. And, because they could test mountain lion fetuses for the first time, they found three different types of rat poison in their systems.

Biologists say it’s the latest sign of the ongoing issue of rodenticides ending up in the mountain lion food chain. They are urging people who live in the region not to use the chemicals to kill rats, and other pests because of the problems they create for the big cats.

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.