Mountain Lion above Santa Monica Bay
3/18/16 A 30-second video by Jason Klassi
A message from Jason Klassi:
As I continue my foray into camera trapping, I was recently thrilled to discover this magnificent mountain lion living on the edge of civilization peacefully co-existing with people in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. She could possibly be the same lion I encountered in person one special winter afternoon in January 2013; a story I told in my prior post.
I remain inspired by my local camera trapping mentors Johanna Turner, Denis Callet, Robert Martinez, Dan Potter, Paul Faulstich, Jeff Sikich and other greats like Jonny Armstrong, David Neils, Jeff Dale, Casey Smartt, Boone Smith, Casey Anderson, Steve Winter and Lawrence Bruce Kekule. There are also incredible people like Beth-Pratt Bergstrom working to build the Liberty Canyon Wildlife crossing and Julie Newsome volunteering with organizations like the Santa Monica Mountains Fund and you folks at the great Mountain Lion Foundation and those dedicated humans who operate the wild animal sanctuaries for rescued lions.
But mostly I’m inspired by the animals who live amongst us whom we very rarely see. To walk in their home, their wilderness, their footsteps is the greatest honor of all. Sure there are a few dangers—rattlesnakes, ticks, poison ivy, pot growers, hunters and even the lions themselves on the rare chance they mistake you for prey when you’re hunched over focused on setting up the camera. However, to return home and occasionally find a remarkable image, a window into their world, is a very special experience.
I don’t think all lions in the Santa Monica Mountains should be collared. Some may be better off completely untouched by human hands. My main hope is that this lion, and all mountain lions, may continue to live wild and free, in natural harmony with people like you and me.