CALABASAS (CBSLA) — A mountain lion was found dead Wednesday along the center divider of the 101 Freeway in Calabasas.

The California Highway Patrol’s West Valley division posted a photo on Facebook of what appears to be a young, uncollared mountain lion along the the eastbound 101 Freeway at Parkway Calabasas.

(credit: California Highway Patrol)

“It’s always unfortunate when this happens, but CHP located a mountain lion that appeared to have been struck and killed by a vehicle along the US-101 Fwy in Calabasas this morning,” the CHP said in the post.

Ranger Ana Beatriz echoed the CHP’s message and said it wasn’t clear if the mountain lion was part of the ongoing study of the population in the Santa Monica Mountains.

“We don’t know if this lion is one of our study animals,” she said in a Facebook post. “We will pick up its carcass on Friday and it will then undergo a full necropsy.”

An $87 million wildlife bridge that would allow wildlife to safely cross the 101 Freeway is currently under reviewfor a section a few miles west of where the mountain lion was found Wednesday. Officials from both the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Wildlife Federation said this death just underscores the urgent need for this wildlife bridge.

“These cats are fighting to survive and this animal’s tragic death is one more reminder that mountain lions will disappear from the Los Angeles area and other places in California if we don’t take action to protect them,” Beth Pratt, of the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement. “The wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon will help prevent these needless deaths and the extinction of this threatened population of mountain lions.”

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