Mountain Lion P-62 Died While Trying To Cross The 405 Freeway Over The Weekend

The four-year-old mountain lion went viral when he successfully crossed the 10-lane freeway in July.

After becoming the first GPS-collared mountain lion to cross the 10-lane freeway in nearly two decades, the famed male cat called P-62 was struck and killed early Saturday morning.

The California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene under the Sepulveda Boulevard underpass around 4 a.m. to move P-61 out of motorists’ way, according to the National Park Service. Animal control officers subsequently retrieved his body and later notified the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as the researchers at the Santa Monica National Recreation Area.

The reason for P-61’s crossing is unknown, but the NPS believes that he may have had an altercation with another mountain lion leaving him to flee and find another habitat. Male mountain lions are known to be territorial and over the years, researchers retrieved remote camera photos of an uncolored male mountain lion that has presumably lived on the eastern side of the 405 for about five years.

It’s devastations such as this that have led transportation officials and conservationists to build a predominately privately funded wildlife crossing over the major Southern California freeway — the U.S. 101 — to take major steps in preventing the extinction of mountain lions as well as other species that require room to roam. The wildlife overpass will provide big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, and snakes a safe route to the open space they know by nature.

Though mountain lions are not a threatened species in California, environmentalists have argued that a subpopulation of mountain lions in the state could face extinction because of isolated habitats and low genetic diversity.

Originally published at Secret Los Angeles.