An 8-month-old female mountain lion was struck and killed by a vehicle on a stretch of freeway just outside Los Angeles where its mother and brother were fatally struck last month, the National Park Service announced Friday.
The kitten, known as P-51, was found dead Jan. 14 along the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway one mile east of the Rocky Peak exit, according to the NPS. The kitten’s mother, P-39, was killed on the same stretch of freeway Dec. 3, and her brother, P-52, was killed on the roadway Dec. 20.
The dead kittens were part of a litter of three mothered by P-39.
The death of P-51 was the 17th known case of a mountain lion killed on a freeway or road in the National Park Service study area around the Santa Monica Mountains since 2002.
“Unfortunately this case illustrates the challenges for mountain lions in the region, where roads are both major barriers to movement and potential sources of mortality,” said Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “The area where these animals were killed is part of a critical wildlife corridor that connects the genetically isolated population in the Santa Monica Mountains to what is considered the nearest source population, in Los Padres National Forest.”
—City News Service