Bobcat Caught in February Dies After Being Struck by Car in Westlake Village

A GPS-collared bobcat was fatally hit while crossing a major street in Westlake Village recently, officials said on Thursday.

The adult male cat known as B-363 died after being struck by a car on Kanan Road, in an area that didn’t burn in last year’s devastating Woolsey Fire, according to a post on the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s Facebook page.

Officials did not say when he died, or where exactly on Kanan his remains were discovered.

B-363 was the seventh and final bobcat caught during the last trapping season, which concluded this past February.

Rangers described the bobcat’s movement pattern as “interesting,” saying it was “somewhat unusual” from what researchers typically observed. For instance, his GPS points showed he chose to hang out in and around landscaped backyards over nearby open spaces that had been charred by the Woolsey Fire’s flames, according to the Facebook post.

But living on the edge of urban spaces presents numerous hazards for bobcats and other large cats, chief among them the threat of getting hit by passing vehicles while navigating between patches of habitat.

In fact, it’s the second most common cause of death among bobcats in the park service’s 23-year study, behind only mange.

Earlier this year in the Santa Monica Mountains, six bobcats were fatally hit in a span of three months; two were part of the study, including a male who was caught and collared in the days leading up to the Woolsey Fire.

At the time, Joanne Moriarty — a wildlife biologist who’s been studying the cats in the area for over 15 years — said she couldn’t recall a period where so many bobcats were killed by cars in such a short period of time.

“As sad as this is, there is a safety message here,” she said in a statement from May. “Please keep your eyes open on all roads, especially ones where there is ‪open space‬ on both sides. Also, slow down and don’t drive distracted. This is their habitat, too!”

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