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Mountain lion in Southern California study killed by vehicle

Mountain Lion (FILE)
Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-18 22:36:27-04

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) — A mountain lion that was part of a National Park Service study was fatally struck by a vehicle in Southern California's Santa Monica Mountains along the same road where her mother was similarly killed.

The adult female cougar, dubbed P-54, died Friday on Las Virgenes Road, south of Mulholland Highway, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said.

P-54 was outfitted with a radio tracking collar by biologists who are studying how the big cats live in habitat fragmented by urban sprawl, barriers that limit genetic diversity and with hazards ranging from poisons to roads and freeways.

The park service said P-54 was the 29th mountain lion killed by vehicles since 2002 in the study area, which includes the Santa Monica range, Simi Hills, Santa Susana Mountains, Verdugo Mountains and Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

P-54 was born in January 2017. Her mother, P-23, was killed by a vehicle farther south on Las Virgenes Road in January 2018.

In May 2020, P-54 gave birth to a litter that researchers believe did not survive. Later that year, she gave birth to two males. One of them, P-97, was killed two months ago on the Interstate 405 freeway in LA near the Getty Center.