A young mountain lion who disappeared after her mother died in January is alive and well, the National Park Service said Monday.
The cat named P-54 was seen in a video and DNA confirmed it was the same one found in the Santa Monica Mountains. Its mother, P-23, was hit by a car near Malibu Canyon Road and killed in January, officials said.
P-54 could be seen walking toward a camera in the Santa Monica Mountain Mountains. The video was tweeted out by the NPS on June 7.
"We had suspected that she probably would be able to survive but we almost had a situation a couple years ago where a mother was struck by a car," said NPS spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall. "She had three kittens who were seven months and two ended up getting struck as well and dying. It can be very tragic."
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P-54 was featured in news articles in 2017 as a new resident of the Santa Monica Mountains. It was most likely the product of inbreeding between P-23 and her half sibling P-30. P-30 is still alive but there has been no genetic testing to confirm that P-30 is the father.
NPS began monitoring mountain lions in 2002. P-23 was the 18th mountain lion struck and killed by a vehicle since the study began.
P-54 was 1 year old when her mother died. Mountain lions typically leave their mother after 12 to 18 months.