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Mountain Lion Killed While Crossing The 405 Freeway Wednesday Night

A young mountain lion is captured on a remote camera at night.
Mountain lions frequently trek across the freeway near the Santa Monica Mountains.
(Courtesy Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
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Topline:

A mountain lion was struck by a car and killed on the 405 freeway late Wednesday night.

The details: The animal, which was not collared and therefore not a part of the National Park Service's ongoing study of big cats in the Santa Monica Mountains, was discovered sometime around 11:30 p.m., already deceased. It was found on the southbound lanes of the 405 freeway near Mulholland Drive, said Wes Haver, a public information officer for the California Highway Patrol. "CHP West Valley and West L.A. units responded ... and when the officers got there, that's when they determined [the animal] to be a mountain lion that was hit and had clear signs of death," said Haver.

The backstory: The 405 and 101 freeways have become deadly for mountain lions in the area. Between 2002 and 2017, 17 of the animals were killed on local roads. The big cat found last night was at least the fourth such death in 2022.

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Help is on the way: In April, ground was broken on the world’s largest wildlife crossing, which will stretch 210 feet across eight lanes of the 101 freeway and is expected to be complete by 2025. Experts hope it will prevent injury and death in the local mountain lion population by guiding them safely over traffic. "We can't get that built soon enough," said Haver.