P-61, The First Collared LA County Mountain Lion to Cross 405 Freeway, Fatally Struck Near Sepulveda Pass

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Hopes are dashed.  A four-year-old mountain lion who successfully traversed the 405 Freeway just last June was struck and killed near the Sepulveda Pass early Saturday, the National Park Service said.
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The male cat, known to local wildlife scientists as P-61, was the first GPS-collared mountain lion to cross the 10-lane freeway during the 17 years experts have studied the animals in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.
The California Highway Patrol responded to the Sepulveda Boulevard underpass at around 4 a.m. and moved P-61 out of motorists’ way, according to NPS. Animal control officers subsequently retrieved his body and notified the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and researchers at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Another mountain lion might have prompted P-61 to cross the 405 again, officials said.

 

“Based on his GPS points, he had been staying close to the eastern edge of the 405 more recently,” NPS said in an Instagram post. “Over the last few years, we and others have gotten remote camera photos of an uncollared male mountain lion that apparently lives in that area. A negative encounter between the two could have caused P-61 to move back west.”

 A month before P-61 was first captured, biologists found the remains of P-27, an adult male mountain lion who had dominated the eastern region mountains since at least 2013.

 

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: National Park Service  
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