SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Wildlife experts from the U.C. Santa Cruz Pumas Project say the young male mountain lion found trapped in downtown Santa Cruz is doing very well after being released back into the wild.
Santa Cruz Pumas named the young mountain lion, 39M. The organization keeps track of multiple wild mountain lions to better understand how they behave in their environment. GPS locations show wildlife experts where the animal is which lets them know where it is hunting for food.
On its website, the university research group said they have examined some of the areas where the mountain lion has been living and found that he has killed and eaten prey. One of the photos shown on the website shows a leg of a fawn that appears to have been eaten by 39M.
Experts say 39M has remained in the area where he was released. Although researchers expected he would leave, the mountain lion has instead expanded his range to include surrounding slopes and countrysides.
The mountain lion has been eating mostly fawns and raccoons, according to Santa Cruz Pumas. The young male appears to be catching normal prey for mountain lions despite his trip to the downtown Santa Cruz area. Wildlife researchers say the large cat appears to be in very good condition and has the skills needed to survive on his own.
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