LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California mountain lion studied by the National Park Service was killed after a likely vehicle strike earlier this month on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, officials said.
The radio-collared cougar known as P-81 was found dead along the route near Point Mugu on Jan. 22, the park service said on Twitter.
A necropsy will confirm the 4-year-old male died as a result of being hit by a car.
The park service says at least 34 mountain lions have been killed by vehicles since 2002 within its study area, which includes the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills and Verdugo mountains.
Biologists are studying how the big cats live in habitat fragmented by urban sprawl, barriers that limit genetic diversity and with hazards ranging from poisons to roads and freeways.
P-81's death comes more than a month after the famous cougar P-22, who lived for years in a sprawling Los Angeles park, was euthanized after examinations revealed worsening health and injuries likely caused by a car.