7-Month-Old Mountain Lion Killed On Same Freeway As His Mother


Just weeks after his mother was found dead, a seven-month-old mountain lion cub in the Santa Susanna Mountains was killed on the same stretch of freeway.

On Thursday afternoon, the National Park Service announced in a Facebook post that P-52 was struck and killed by a vehicle on the 118 freeway. P-52 was one of the three cubs of P-39, who was also killed by a vehicle on December 3. Ranger Kate Kuykendall of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area told LAist that P-52 was killed on December 20 near Kuehner Drive, just a few miles away from where P-39 was killed.

Officials are unsure whether P-52's siblings, P-50 and P-51, are still alive, and do not know of their whereabouts. "We haven't heard any information about them since we ear-tagged them six or seven months ago," said Kuykendall. "They are not wearing a tracking device." At the time of P-39's death, biologists believed that the cubs were still too young to survive on their own.

Despite their photogenic appearance in the photos taken back in June, Kuykendall stressed that the cubs would be 7 to 8 months old at this point, making them about "significantly less helpless than they previously appeared" and wandering about on their own. However, mountain lions typically don't leave their mother until they are 12-to-18 months old.

P-52 is the fourteenth mountain lion known to have been killed on the roads in the area since 2002. Officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife have collected P-52's body and will be conducting a necropsy to determine his health at the time of his death.