A radio-collared mountain lion known as P-81 was found dead on Pacific Coast Highway near Las Posas Road in the western Santa Monica Mountains after likely being struck by a vehicle, the National Park Service announced Friday.
"We are saddened to share mountain lion P-81 was likely killed by vehicle strike Sunday, Jan. 22," the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area said on Twitter.
Officials said California Fish and Wildlife officers collected P-81's body on PCH, and that a necropsy will be performed to confirm the approximately 4-year-old male died as the result of being struck.
The lion is one of many big cats in Southern California being tracked by National Park Service researchers, and his death comes just over a month after the more- famous P-22 -- known as the "Hollywood Cat" -- was euthanized on Dec. 17.
P-22, who famously crossed by the 101 and 405 freeways before taking up a long-term residence in Griffith Park, had been captured in a Los Feliz backyard in a severely underweight and injured condition. It's believed P-22 was also the victim of a vehicle strike, accounting for his injuries. He was believed to be about 11 or 12 years old. SoCal mountain lions: Biologists identify abnormalities linked to inbreeding
Three mountain lion kittens have been born in the Santa Monica Mountains, the National Park Service announced on Wednesday.
Park Service officials said vehicle strikes are the leading cause of death for mountain lions in their study area.
Since March 2022, officials said, nine mountain lions have died by vehicle strikes, six of them radio-collared.
P-81 is the 34th mountain lion, and the 13th radio-collared cat, to die from road mortality since 2002, according to recreation area officials. City News Service contributed to this report.
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