SANTA MONICA—A 2-year-old mountain lion, known as P-55, made history last week when he successfully crossed the 101 Ventura freeway for the second time.
On Tuesday, October 17, the National Park Service announced via Facebook that P-55 ventured over 10 lanes of freeway traffic crossing though a “relatively developed part of Thousand Oaks,” just west of State Route 23.
“P-55 is full of surprises,” said Ranger Kate Kuykendall in the post. He is the first mountain lion to successfully cross the freeway twice, and he represents one of only 4 successful crossings by mountain lions since the National Park Service began studying the movements of local cougars in 2002. GPS tracking data from the animal’s collar showed the adventurous feline’s path.
In late July, P-55 made his way across the freeway for the first time, crossing state routes 23 and 118, where he was caught on camera in the backyard of a Newbury Park home. Kuykendall stated that after his dangerous two-part journey, “P-55 is now back to roaming the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains, likely looking to avoid other males so that he can one day establish his own territory.”
A study released in 2016 concluded that mountain lions in the Santa Monica range are facing possible extinction within the next 50 years. Researchers have documented 17 mountain lion deaths on Southern California roadways since 2002. In an attempt to preserve the regions feline wildlife, officials and activists are now advocating for construction of a landscaped wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway in the Agoura Hills area.