The carcass of a mountain lion was found by a passing motorist Monday morning alongside the 101 freeway in Agoura Hills near the Liberty Canyon Road exit. This area, a natural but dangerous wildlife crossing, is used by animals moving between the Santa Monica Mountains to the south and the Simi Hills to the north.
Long time research in the area has identified a resident mountain lion population of as many as 10 to 12 animals. During a recent lecture, National Park Service (NPS) wildlife ecologist Dr. Seth Riley said the NPS is currently tracking seven mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills; three who live south of the 101 Freeway, two in the Simi Hills and one in Griffith Park.
Unfortunately, due to the current government shutdown, Dr. Riley and his fellow NPS lion researchers are now unavailable to determine which of their precious specimens is missing.
NPS researchers previously announced that they knew of only one mountain lion to successfully cross the 101 freeway, a male designated as P-12 who headed into the Santa Monica Mountains where he mated with at least two female lions in the range and produced six kittens.
P-12's last reported position was still in the Santa Monica Mountains. According to one motorist that viewed the dead lion, it did not appear to have a tracking collar around its neck.