Young male mountain lion (finally) leaves mom’s side

Young male mountain lion (finally) leaves mom’s side

P19, a 22-month-old male mountain lion followed by Living with Lions in Sonoma County, has left home and the safety of mom to find his own way. Watch as over a few weeks beginning on March 9, 2020, this big cat sets a determined course east into the Central Valley and comes within 25 miles of Sacramento before turning back toward the safety of the Vaca Mountains. Remarkably, in his early travels he has crossed Interstate 80 twice and navigated the major intersections of Vacaville.

As a young dispersing male, this elusive top carnivore must avoid other male lions and seek out his own territory of about 200 square miles. This may take him a few years and put him at risk of fatality from other threats, such as car strikes on highway crossings and conflict with backyard pets and livestock.

His odds are slim but with a little luck and his mother’s teachings, P19 will live to find females and pass on his own legacy.


P19 is the male offspring of P1, Sonoma’s Super Mama and P5, the resident male in the area. The Living with Lions team captured and collared P19 in September 2019 when he was 13 months old and on the cusp of dispersing from mom. The young male weighed in at 70 lbs. and looked healthy and well cared for by his mom. We’re grateful to have had a chance to collar him before he dispersed. Our team on the collaring event included: Director and Principal Investigator Quinton Martins, veterinarian Graham Crawford, Bouverie Resource Ecologist Jennifer Potts, Research Associate Alex Hettena, and Research Technician Sheila McCarthy.

P19 marks the third of P1’s cubs (from three different litters) that we have collared. It was terrific to meet him again at close proximity after seeing him and his sibling for the first time on the 1st of August last year. He was only a week old then!!



Learn more about Living with Lions and support the mountain lions of the North Bay, like P19 > living-with-lions