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    A Tribute to P-41

    P-41 Mountain Lion

    On a hot, August night Nikita walks by a camera, poetry in motion captured. She's been this way before; it is a regular stop on her route as she looks for food, water, shelter, her mate. It's 80 degrees at midnight and she is panting to keep cool. Nikita is an L.A. lion, living in the Verdugos. The very next day after the photo, the La Tuna Verdugo fire breaks out, eventually burning almost half of her home.

    It is a couple of weeks later and cameras capture Nikita lying down, calling for someone, perhaps for her mate, P-41. She comes back, night after night, calling to him. But, he will never come to her, again. On October 4th, a park service biologist confirmed that a deceased mountain lion found on the edge of the Verdugo Mountains near Shadow Hills was indeed P-41. Cause of death, as yet unknown. Read more about P-41's life in a Mountain Lion Foundation tribute.

    The Verdugo Mountains are an island in the sea of urban Los Angeles. Wildlife living in the Verdugos are hemmed in by the 210 Freeway to the north and to the west where the spine of the range narrows. On the east, the 2 Freeway cuts off an escape route to the San Rafael Hills, the Arroyo Seco and the San Gabriels beyond. To the southwest lies the sprawl of Los Angeles.

    P-41 has been on this island perhaps longer than Nikita; at least since 2010 when Johanna Turner first photographed him. National Park Service biologists then trapped and collared him to track his movements as a way to better understand mountain lions in the L.A. area. He and Nikita have sired multiple sets of cubs, none of which are known to have survived in the wild.

    P-41's death is exactly what AFC is working to avoid. Nikita is still trapped in the Verdugos and we will continue our work to ensure safe passage for her and other species that call the patches of natural open space in our urban landscape home.

    Read the Los Angeles Times article about the passing of P-41.

    Thank you to wildlife photographers Denis Callet and Johanna Turner for documenting the lives of these two LA mountain lions.

    See more images of P-41 and Nikita on Denis' website and also on Johanna's website.

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