The first mountain lion to be restored and returned to the wild in California has been found dead, State Fish and Wildlife said Friday.
In October 2020, a female cougar named Monroe was treated and released into the wild after a wildfire in California. Department of Fish and Wildlife Said on Friday.
The animal was found last September with burns in all four paw pads after a bobcat fire erupted through the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
Statistics from a tracking caller show that the mountain lion died in the mountains above the city of Monrovia around August 15, officials said.
“Although a field necropsy was ultimately unable to determine the cause of his death, the data we received from his collar shows that he was successful without being in contact with the urban mountain lion for almost a year. It also makes it clear that mountain lions can and do live among communities at the foot of San Gabriel.
Within 10 months of his release, the mountain lion claimed an area of about 70 square miles (181 square kilometers), successfully hunted deer and appeared healthy in trail camera images, the statement said.
At the time of his rescue, biologists estimated that the mountain lion was about 6 or 7 years old. In the wild, a lion can live up to 10 years.