"There’s only room in our Santa Monica Mountains for ten to fifteen cougars," wildlife biologist Jeff Sikich told National Geographic. He wasn't refering to slightly-older, still-sexy women (think Demi Moore) who prey on young mea—er, men; he's talking about the increased presence of actual cougars in Los Angeles.
A National Geographic feature written by Douglas Chadwick focuses on a young male cougar who relocated from the Santa Monica Mountains to Griffith Park. "The average territory of an adult male there is around 200 square miles. With older, stronger males defending all the available space, this young one had to leave to claim a home of its own. Griffith Park takes in less than seven square miles, but our guy seems to be finding what he needs to survive here," Sikich explained.
After federal law banned the use of predator poisons on federal land in 1972 and more wildlife departments began managing cougars as game animals through regulated hunting seasons, cougar numbers began to rise for the first time in 300 years. Over the past 40 years, more have begun to populate the western part of the U.S., with a number of them being just like the Griffith Park cougar: Young males, wandering about in search of a place. It's almost metaphoric for people who move to L.A. in an attempt to "make it."
As National Geographic mentions, the cougar is now the most common apex predator in a third of the country's lower 48 states. California, which hasn't allowed cougar hunting since 1972, now has more than any state in the U.S. Be wary of actual cougars, L.A.
[via National Geographic]