MONROVIA (CBSLA / AP) – The first cougar to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild in California was found dead, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday.
The female cougar nicknamed Monrovia had been treated and released back into the wild in October 2020 after being burned in a wildfire in Southern California, the state. Department of Fish and Wildlife he said on Friday.
The animal was found with burns to all four paw pads last September after the Bobcat fire swept through the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
Data from a tracking collar indicated the cougar died around Aug. 15 in the mountains above the city of Monrovia, its namesake, authorities said.
“Although a field necropsy was ultimately unable to determine the cause of her death, the data we received from her collar shows that she successfully lived within the urban-wild interface for nearly a year without having been involved in human-cougar contact. This further illustrates that cougars can and do live among communities in the San Gabriel foothills, ”the department said in a statement on Facebook.
During the 10 months after its release, the cougar claimed a territory of nearly 70 square miles (181 square kilometers), successfully hunted deer and appeared to be healthy in tracking camera photos, according to the statement.
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At the time of its rescue, biologists estimated the cougar to be approximately 6 or 7 years old. In the wild, a lion can live up to 10 years.