P-39 roamed the Santa Susana Mountains, and had given birth to her second known litter of kittens this spring, with the presumed father being P-38. But her life tragically ended recently when she was struck by a car on the 118. “Navigating our complex road network is a major challenge for mountain lions in this region,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the kittens have developed the hunting skills to survive without their mom.”
Her death marks the 13th known case of a mountain lion killed on a freeway or road in the National Park Service’s study region since 2002. And the loss serves as a sad reminder why our work to build crossings for these magnificent cats is so important.