California Highway Patrol discovered the body of a dead mountain lion last Wednesday morning along the Ventura (101) Freeway in Calabasas.
CHP West Valley posted a photo of the carcass along the center divider, writing on social media that the mountain lion “appeared to have been struck and killed by a vehicle” and describing the death as “unfortunate.”
“Where’s that confounded bridge?” one Twitter user tweeted back despairingly, referencing the long-awaited wildlife overcrossing, first championed by former State Senator Fran Pavley, that would create a migration corridor for animals currently hemmed in by dangerous roadways. Save LA Cougars, the main advocates for the wildlife corridor at Liberty Canyon, is working to raise $85 million for the project. As of August 2019, the project was in its final design stage, according to CBS Los Angeles. At that date, completion of the overpass was scheduled for 2023.
The LA Times reported that since National Park Service biologists began researching mountain lions in 2002, nearly 20 of the mountain lions within the study area had been struck and killed by motorists.
Reports throughout this summer have brought mixed news for the Santa Monica Mountains’ mountain lion population. Scientists documented multiple litters of kittens born this year—but scientists also documented the presence of potentially species-ending deformities caused by inbreeding in some male mountain lions this year, too.