Massive Milestone For Massive Wildlife Crossing Over 101 Freeway
The effort to build a massive wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway just hit a big milestone. An anonymous $1.4 million donation pushed the project over the $18 million mark (the final cost is estimated at $87 million).
The planned bridge will span 10 lanes of the freeway at Liberty Canyon and provide a safe pathway for endangered mountain lions and other wildlife that live in the Santa Monica Mountains to cross busy lanes of traffic without getting hit by cars.
Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation, says this latest donation means they've hit the homestretch:
"This is an incredible milestone, and we owe it to people, we owe it to the public. Caltrans has always been an incredibly supportive partner on this. They have told us since the beginning, they want to build it, they just don't have a budget. So that's where it was up to all of us to step up. And people have."
And more good news!
Those big cats in the Santa Monica Mountains have some new company. Wildlife officials say they successfully captured and released a 90-pound male mountain lion last week. He now has a GPS collar and a new name: P-95. Biologists think he's about a year-and-a-half old, and may have been traveling with a sibling or his mother.
Welcome to the fam, P-95! The male mountain lion was captured in the #SantaMonicaMountains 1/16. He weighed 90lbs & is about 1 1/2 yrs old. "Chirping" was heard nearby & another cat was later spotted by scientists. P-95 is likely still traveling w/ a sibling or his mom. pic.twitter.com/ZlS0Kj3jWw— Santa Monica Mtns (@SantaMonicaMtns) January 26, 2021