SANTA MONICA—On Saturday, September 7, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area announced on their Facebook page that mountain lion was struck and killed by a vehicle on the 405 freeway in the Sepulveda Pass. 

“California Highway Patrol was initially alerted and moved P-61 out of traffic. City of Los Angeles Animal Control officers retrieved his body and the radio-collar and notified both California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel and our researchers here at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area,” states a post from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. 

The animals’ final GPS point indicates that he was between Bel Air Crest Road and the Sepulveda Boulevard underpass. Researchers are not sure why P-61 crossed the freeway again. The four-year old mountain lion crossed the 10-lane freeway near the Sepulveda Pass several months ago.

There may have been a negative encounter with another male mountain lion that made P-61 to move towards the west side of the freeway. This is not the first time a mountain lion has been struck and killed on the freeway. 

“That was the first time during the course of our 17-year study of mountain lions in and around the Santa Monica Mountains that a GPS-collared lion had successfully crossed this freeway. Young male P-18 was hit by a car in 2011 also in the Sepulveda Pass area, as was another un-collared male lion in 2009,” said Ranger Ana Beatriz of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.