The carcass of a dead mountain lion was found Monday morning on the shoulder of the eastbound U.S. 101 freeway near the Liberty Canyon Road exit. That is in Agoura Hills, in an area that wild animals are known to use to cross between the Santa Monica Mountains to the south and the wildlands of the Simi Hills to the north. Because of the federal government shutdown, the National Park Service researchers who tag and monitor the pumas in the Santa Monicas have not put out word on whether this was one of the cougars they know.
The NPS trackers had previously known of only one mountain lion to successfully cross the 101, a male designated as P-12 who headed into the Santa Monicas. P-12 mated with at least two female lions in the range to produce six cubs. Last we heard P-12 was still in the Santa Monicas. The lion found on Monday did not appear to have a neck collar, according to a driver who stopped and talked later to the Acorn newspaper.
During a recent lecture about local predators, NPS wildlife ecologist Seth Riley said his agency is currently tracking seven mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills. One male and three females live south of the 101 Freeway, two are in the Simi Hills and one lives in Griffith Park.
Cropped photo of P-12 when first captured in the Simi Hills in 2008. Urban Canrivores.com