P-89 Puma killed on Highway 101 in Woodland Hills


A mountain lion was struck and killed on Highway 101 in the Santa Monica Mountains early Wednesday morning, less than a week after another was killed in the same area.

P-89, a 2-year-old male, was found dead on the shoulder of 101, between the DeSoto and Winnetka exits.

He is the fourth mountain lion to die after being struck by a vehicle this year, according to a social media post by the National Park Service.

The young lion is the second killed in the past five days in the Santa Monica Mountains. On Friday, P-54 – a 5-year-old female mountain lion – was hit and killed by a car on Las Virgenes Road between Piuma Road and Mulholland Highway. The site is not far from where his mother and brother, P-23 and P-97, were killed.

Photo from 2021 of the P-89, the 4th cougar to die of roadkill this year.

(NPS)

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service, said the P-89 was struck by a vehicle around 2 a.m.

The young cat had been given a collar as part of the park service’s cougar study area – which includes the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills, Griffith Park and the Santa Susana and Verdugo Mountains – in 2020 after he was born during “the summer of the kittens”.

Wildlife officials say a full autopsy will be performed on P-89 in the coming days.

Tiffany Yap, senior scientist at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement that she hopes P-89’s death will encourage California lawmakers to pass more protections for cougars.

“When state senators consider the Highway Safety and Wildlife Protection Act next month, I hope they see the seriousness of the situation and pass the bill,” Yap said.

The Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act, AB 2344, would require Caltrans to identify potential wildlife barriers on all future transportation projects and implement at least 10 projects that improve wildlife crossings.

The bill is expected to be heard by the California Senate Appropriations Committee in August.




Los Angeles Times

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