An 18-month-old mountain lion was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway in the Brentwood area early Thursday morning.
The big cat was found dead in the roadway around 1 a.m. on the southbound lanes of the freeway near Getty Center Drive exit, California Highway Patrol Officer Moses Marroquin told KTLA.
No information was available on what type of vehicle hit the mountain lion, the officer said.
The mountain lion was P-97, one of the cougars being tracked by the National Park Service study, according to NPS spokeswoman Ana Cholo in the Santa Monica Mountains.
While his collar was not found, P-97 was identified by his ear tags, Cholo said.
P-97 is the fourth mountain lion to be killed in that area, with the last incident reported in Summer 2019, according to Cholo.
The young mountain lion was killed a day before a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to begin construction on the world’s largest wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway.
The bridge over the major highway is meant to provide mountain lions, coyotes, deer and other animals a safe route to the Santa Monica Mountains.
“This week was supposed to be one of celebration as we mark the groundbreaking of a wildlife bridge in Agoura Hills. Instead, we’re saddened by the violent death of yet another mountain lion,” said J.P. Rose, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “These tragedies are preventable if California invested in more wildlife crossings, which protect both wildlife and people from dangerous collisions.”
Scientists tracking mountain lions have found that roadways are largely confining the cougars in the mountains.
But there have been recent incidents involving mountain lions being killed on freeways.
P-97 was the 26th mountain lion to be killed by a vehicle since the study began about two decades ago, according to officials from the Santa Monica Mountains.
Last month, a male mountain lion dubbed P-104 was struck by a vehicle and killed on Pacific Coast Highway.