The National Park Service (NPS) recently discovered the remains of mountain lion P-64, known as the “Culvert Cat,” an approximately four-year-old male mountain lion who survived the devastating fire, but died a few weeks later. His cause of death is not known, but his paws were visibly burned.
When the fire first broke out on the afternoon of November 8, 2018, P-64 was in the Simi Hills, north of Oak Park. He continued to travel throughout the Simi Hills for the next few days, covering several miles before then hunkering down in a remote area. The NPS biologist located P-64 on November 26 with a telemetry device in an unburned portion of the Simi Hills. This boosted hopes that P-64 may have been on a kill and surviving.
The last GPS point transmitted by the collar was on November 28, but the collars commonly go multiple days without connecting to the satellites and transmitting points. Our biologist hiked in to the location of the last GPS point on December 3 and found P-64’s remains nearby. He appeared to have been dead for a few days.
During his short life, the “Culvert Cat” made a name for himself by using the storm drain at Liberty Canyon multiple times and, during the nine months when he was being tracked, he crossed the 101 and 118 Freeways more than 40 times!
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a necropsy.
For more information on The Culvert Cat, please visit his Puma Profile located here: https://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/nature/p-64.htm. To donate to wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains: www.samofund.org/donate