An untagged male cougar believed to be two to three years old was hit by traffic and killed in Newhall Pass about 7:30 this morning. The lion was on the Interstate 5 freeway near the 14 Freeway split, reportedly in the northbound left lane. The lion was not known to the National Park Service's study of Santa Monica Mountains cougars. Newhall Pass runs between the Santa Susana and San Gabriel mountain ranges, which both have lion populations of unknown size.
Today's mountain lion was at least the fifth big cat to be found dead in the area this year. One of them, P-32, was a Santa Monica Mountains cougar who had escaped the confines of the range and made his way to the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains before being killed on Interstate 5 in August.
There are no known photos of the lion killed today.
Earlier this month, the National Park Service identified a new male lion in the Santa Monicas and tagged him as P-45.
Previously on LA Observed:
Santa Monica Mountains lions 'fast disappearing'
Three more Santa Monica Mountains pumas found dead
Mountain lion P-32 killed crossing Interstate 5 near Castaic
P-39 and cubs feeding on a deer
Untagged female mountain lion poses above Glendora
Park Service now tracks lions in the Verdugo Mountains too
A second lion escapes the Santa Monica Mountains over 101