Collared mountain lion struck, killed by car on PCH

Coby Bishop, a law enforcement ranger with the Nationwide Park Company, was cruising alongside Pacific Coast Highway early Wednesday early morning when he noticed the carcass of a mountain lion on the roadway.

The younger male lion had been struck by a car all around 7 a.m. in western Malibu.

Upon even more examination, the cougar turned out to be P-104, who was collared just two weeks in the past for a study. His death marks the initially documented case on the coastal highway, in accordance to the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Region, a part of the Nationwide Park Services.

“It’s normally a bummer when we eliminate a gorgeous animal like this,” mentioned Ana Beatriz Cholo, a spokesperson for the recreation place. “We were being just about to start out discovering more about it.

“It just even more confirms that street mortalities are a main result in of death for mountain lions,” she included.

Biologists reported the young lion experienced crossed PCH several occasions in the final few days, previously singling him out as an uncommon cat.

“Although it has occurred just before, it is relatively unusual that collared mountain lions have crossed PCH,” associates for the recreation space claimed in a statement posted to social media.

The younger lion was captured and equipped two months ago with a GPS radio collar in the western part of the Santa Monica Mountains. He was the most current addition to a 20-12 months study on the big predators dwelling in and about the mountain selection, in accordance to the parks’ assertion. He weighed 103 pounds when he was captured on March 8.

P-104 is the 25th mountain lion — and eighth collared specimen — to be killed by a motor vehicle due to the fact the analyze began in 2002.

It’s thought the driver who struck the animal was heading north, and it doesn’t surface the person stopped, Cholo mentioned. The lion was uncovered close to the 33100 block of Pacific Coast Highway, throughout from a residential driveway.

The lion was hit tricky — and it appears to have carried out some destruction to the motor vehicle. When Bishop found the carcass, he explained vehicle areas ended up nevertheless littered on the highway.

“He suffered really significant and traumatic injuries,” Cholo mentioned of the lion. “Hopefully he died quite promptly.”

It is not obvious why the animal was in the vicinity of the highway, an atypical stamping grounds for mountain lions. But Cholo mentioned there is a good deal of shrubbery nearby, in the vicinity of Trancas Canyon, where the lion could conceal and hold out.

J.P. Rose, a senior lawyer with the Middle for Organic Range, termed P-104’s demise “another tragic reminder that our streets are demise traps for regional mountain lions and other wildlife.”

In a couple months, ground is set to crack on a wildlife bridge about the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, which Cholo reported will provide reduction for cougars and other critters — by offering them entry to broader open areas and, perhaps, respite from racing cars.

Rose agreed.

“Wildlife crossings have to be a best precedence right before it’s much too late and we shed the Santa Monica Mountains puma inhabitants forever,” the attorney stated in an e-mail.

P-104’s body is remaining despatched to a lab in San Bernardino, exactly where it will undertake a necropsy.

It will be checked for points this sort of as the existence of rat poisons, Cholo mentioned, a popular result in of death among the mountain lions. The conclusions can give helpful facts for wildlife officers, she stated.

Thirteen mountain lions are currently being tracked in the location. The research was carried out “to identify how they endure in a fragmented and urbanized ecosystem,” the recreation region said.

California’s pumas are provisionally guarded underneath the state Endangered Species Act, the center reported.