AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA) — A second mountain lion has successfully crossed the 101 Freeway, right in the area where an $87 million wildlife bridge has been proposed.
P-65, a female mountain lion fitted with a radio collar, crossed the busy freeway on Aug. 21 between midnight and 2 a.m., according to National Park Service biologists. The exact spot where P-65 crossed is not known, but data from her collar indicates it was in the Liberty Canyon area.
P-65 makes history as the 2nd radio-collared female mtn lion to cross the 101, moving north to Simi Hills. The rare event occurred 8/21 between midnight & 2am. We’re not exactly sure where but data indicates it was in Liberty Canyon area where a wildlife bridge has been proposed. pic.twitter.com/lMKXeEpGEo
— Santa Monica Mtns (@SantaMonicaMtns) September 4, 2019
According to the National Park Service, P-65 was first captured and collared in the central portions of the Santa Monica Mountains in March of last year, surviving the Woolsey Fire.
P-64, a male who was believed to be three to four years old, has also made the harrowing crossing in the same general area last year. Wildlife cameras had recorded the big cat crossing via a small culvert under the 101 Freeway.
The first collared female mountain lion to cross the 101 Freeway was P-33, back in March of 2015, on the far western end of the Santa Monica Mountains near the border of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, according to the National Park Service. P-33 died last summer of unknown causes.
The news of P-65’s successful 101 Freeway crossing comes just a little under a month after National Park Service biologists said P-61 successfully crossed the 405 Freeway.
National Park Service biologists keep track of the native mountain lion population in the Santa Monica Mountains as part of an ongoing study of how the big cats breed and survive in a habitat increasingly hemmed in by urban development, such as housing developments and freeways. Several mountain lions have been struck and killed while attempting to cross the 101, 405 and 118 freeways, while still others are unable to survive major disasters like last year’s Woolsey Fire.
An $87 million wildlife bridge over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills has been proposed so mountain lions and other creatures can get better access to food and potential mates, diversifying the native population.