A young mountain lion known as P-32 — the only male known to have successfully ventured to the north out of the Santa Monica Mountains — was fatally struck by a car while trying to cross the Golden State (5) Freeway in Castaic, National Park Service officials announced today.
P-32, who had previously crossed the Ventura (101) Freeway and three
other highways in the Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley areas, was killed Monday
morning, according to parks officials.
“This case illustrates the challenges that mountain lions in this
region face, particularly males,” said Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with
the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “P-32 conquered all kinds
of freeways and highways to reach the Los Padres (National Forest), but it was
probably another dominant male that made him leave the area and attempt one
last crossing, which obviously was not successful.”
P-32 was 21 months old. He had been tagged by the National Park Service
when he was four weeks old. Based on GPS data from his collar, he was likely
struck between 4 and 6 a.m. Monday, according to the NPS.
Parks officials said only one male mountain lion born in the Santa
Monica Mountains is known to have survived into adulthood — P-22, who roams
Griffith Park. P-22 crossed both the 101 Freeway and the San Diego (405)
Freeway to make it to the park, but officials said they do not consider his
movement out of the mountains to be “successful” because he is now in an
isolated area with no chance of reproducing.
P-32 is the 12th mountain lion killed on a freeway or road since
researchers began studying them in 2002.
-City News Service