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Lions Live Here, website by Riah Buchanan (2015) : The Santa Monica Mountains were protected from development by the National Parks Bill signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1978, after years of local lobbying. The range is surrounded by freeways and traversed by a few major roadways. These roads parallel and sometimes exactly trace the route of Spanish explorers installing the first Missions, which in turn traced trading routes established by the Chumash, Kitanemuk, Yokut and Tongva, which in turn traced animal paths, which were themselves made obvious by the passage of many animals following one another. In this way the fauna have unknowingly set the boundaries they now seek to surmount. The largest among them, the mountain lion, is one of the most afected. Male lions are territorial – shared space is a liability. For female lions as well, there is not enough room to roam. So the trace continues, and some are able to cross the line. P22 crossed the 405 and the 101, taking up residence in Gri fth Park. P33 and her brother P32 crossed the 101; the lions are seeking to redraw their territory. But for P32, subsequently killed by a motorist on the 5, the hard boundaries of the roads were definitive. P18 and P09 were also hit by cars and killed. The lineage is corrupted. Lines intersect and overlap. Genes fall in on themselves. This feedback loop can still be modified. The lions continue to walk the line, but another could be drawn. Over with a bridge, under with a tunnel, humans may slowly provide a new trace. There are going to be plans for this trace. And plans of plans, and planners who plan. In the meantime, the line can be softened: 





As for P22, his fate seems somewhat doomed. He recently killed a koala at the LA Zoo, eating only it’s face. The zoo responded by admitting that they were intruding on his «natural» environment, a rare reprieve for a lion. Last year he holed up in a local resident’s crawl space, causing a media sensation. These anomalies in his behaviour reveal the risk inherent in staying in the park. But when he leaves, he faces 4–6 lanes of tra fc in all directions. If he manages to make it beyond the city, he will likely have to fight any resident lion to the death for territory. It may be worth it to find a mate and forge a new path in genetics and in space. – Riah Buchanan, published in Issue 1 of Kulturfolger magazine

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