US & Canada

Rare mountain lion killed in California crossing freeway

P-32 the lion Image copyright NAtional Park Service
Image caption P-32 had almost made it to his destination when he was struck and killed by a car

A young male mountain lion, known to the public after being photographed earlier in the year, has been killed by a car on a motorway in California.

P-32 had almost made it into the Los Padres National Forest when he failed to get across Interstate 5.

He is the 12th mountain lion to be killed locally on the roads since 2002 but the most well known, thanks to a series of photographs in March.

He was 21 months old and being tracked by the US National Park Service.

Before he died, he had crossed California highways Route 23, Highway 118, Highway 126 and the 101 Freeway.

He is the only known male mountain lion to have left the Santa Monica Mountains for areas further north.

"This case illustrates the challenges that mountain lions in this region face, particularly males," said Dr Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in a statement.

"P-32 conquered all kinds of freeways and highways to reach the Los Padres, but it was probably another dominant male that made him leave the area and attempt one last crossing, which obviously was not successful."

Due to all the lion deaths, California has proposed a wildlife crossing which would be located on the 101 Freeway.

Image copyright National Park Service
Image caption P-32 as a cub

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