National Park Service officials Wednesday announced the death of a 3-year-old mountain lion that managed to twice cross the Ventura (101) Freeway as he roamed the Santa Monica Mountains.
It was unknown exactly when or how the lion known as P-55 died.
“Cause of death is unknown because unfortunately the collar he was wearing failed to emit a mortality signal (and) by the time our biologist found him his remains were already too decomposed,” NPS officials posted on their Twitter page. “Possible causes of death to this seemingly healthy animal include rodenticide poisoning or perhaps a fight with another male, although there were no signs of a struggle.”
Rodent poison is considered a major threat to the mountain lions that roam the Santa Monica Mountains, with the animals often eating rodents that ingested the poison.
According to the NPS, P-55 crossed the 101 Freeway twice, once from south to north, then again back south. The lion made some news in February when it was caught on camera peering through a sliding glass door of a house in Westlake Village, park officials said.
“He was a beautiful animal who survived longer than most males in the Santa Monica Mountains, but ultimately met his end at a relatively young age,” according to the NPS.