A young mountain lion collared for a study just two weeks ago was struck and killed by a car around dawn Wednesday morning on Pacific Coast Highway, officials said.
The cougar’s death, reported around 7 a.m., is the first documented on the coastal highway, according to the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, a part of the National Park Service.
Biologists said the young lion — known as P-104 — had crossed PCH several times in the last few days.
“Although it has occurred before, it is relatively rare that collared mountain lions have crossed PCH,” representatives for the recreation area said in a statement posted to social media.
The young lion was captured and fitted two weeks ago with a GPS radio collar in the western portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. He was the most recent addition to a 20-year study on the large predators living in and around the mountain range, according to the parks’ statement.
P-104 is the 25th mountain lion — and eighth collared specimen — to be killed by a vehicle since the study began in 2002.
He weighed 103 pounds when he was captured on March 8.
Thirteen mountain lions are being tracked in the region. The study was undertaken “to determine how they survive in a fragmented and urbanized environment,” the recreation area said.