A female mountain lion successfully crossed the Ventura (101) Freeway in the Agoura Hills area, near the site of a planned a landscaped freeway crossing aimed at facilitating the movement of wildlife over the roadway, National Park Service officials said Wednesday.
The lion known as P-65 made the crossing sometime between midnight and 2 a.m. Aug. 21, according to the NPS.
The exact location of the crossing isn’t known, but data from the cat’s GPS collar indicated the crossing occurred in the Liberty Canyon area, where the wildlife bridge over the freeway is in the planning and fundraising stage.
Park officials said the young lion who notably survived the Woolsey Fire crossed from south to north, and is believed to run across the roadway, since no camera images of the cat were captured by cameras in an underground culvert that has been used by at least one other lion.
A male cat known as P-64 earned the nickname “Culvert Cat” by making repeated use of the underground passageway in the Liberty Canyon area. Another male lion, P-12, crossed the 101 Freeway in the same area in 2009, but it was unclear if he used the underground culvert or ran across the roadway.
P-12 is still roaming the Santa Monica Mountains. P-64 was found dead in December in the Simi Hills.
Freeways acting as physical barriers to migration have long been identified as threats to the continued survival of mountain lions in the area. At least one study has suggested that the lions will be extinct within 50 years due to the lack of breeding partners, leading to rampant inbreeding among the current population.