* When I first wrote this post, I thought the photo was shot in a more populated area of Mulholland Highway, which would have meant the mountain lion had been forced from the deep wilderness that her species seeks. With drought and wildfires and ceaseless development, all of which displace wild animals, both predators and prey are being stripped of adequate territory to hunt and breed and hide.
A little while after the post went live, I heard from a ranger at the NPS that the cougar is P-23, a young female who just separated from her mother. From the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area page on Facebook:
"Of the 400+ kills our biologists have hiked in on, this is the only one they've seen right on a road, so it's quite a rare sight! She dragged the deer into the dense brush shortly after this photo was taken for a little more privacy."
The ranger says the kill took place on an isolated part of Mulholland, not near any homes. This post has been revised to reflect that fact.
See the rest of the Facebook update here.
PHOTO: Irv Nilsen
(Mulholland Highway -- 8/25/2013 at 6:50 a.m.)