A male mountain lion was hit by a car and killed this morning while attempting to cross Malibu Canyon Road. According to National Park Service officials, it was one of two males in the Santa Monica Mountains known to exist and being tracked by a GPS system attached to a collar.
A Sheriff’s deputy told The Malibu Times that at approximately 7 a.m. a car traveling northbound on Malibu Canyon Road about a half-mile north of Pepperdine University hit the mountain lion as it crossed the road. Dr. Duane Tom, the head veterinarian from the California Wildlife Center, said the mountain lion was not immediately killed, but died shortly after the collision.
A group of truckers who drove by the scene moved the lion to the side of the road.
Although the lion had a deep, three-inch gash above it’s left leg, Tom said it most likely was not the cause of the lion’s death. He said it was probably due to head trauma. But Tom cautioned that it is difficult to determine the cause of death until a necropsy is performed.
NPS officials are taking the mountain lion to the state lab in San Bernardino for a necropsy.
The NPS began observing the lion less than two months ago. Officials believe it killed a younger lion in September, but that has not been confirmed. In addition to the one living male being tracked by the NPS, there is also a female being observed in the area. NPS Wildlife Technician Joanne Moriarty said it is believed there are other mountain lions in the area, probably less than 10.