P-61, first mountain lion to cross 405 freeway, struck and killed

The mountain lion known as P-61 made headlines early this summer after becoming the first mountain lion to successfully cross the 405 freeway. 

However, as P-61 was attempting to cross the freeway again he was tragically struck and killed. 

According to the National Park Service P-61 was killed Saturday around 4 a.m. on the 405/Sepulveda Pass area. His GPS collar pinpoints the lion to the area of Bel Air Crest Rd and Sepulveda Blvd. 

Related: Mountain lion successfully crosses 405 freeway, gives researchers new insight

Park officials say they are not exactly sure why he tried crossing, but believe it may be due to another lion in the area. 

According to National Park Service biologists during their 17-year study P-61 was the first GPS-collared lion to cross the 405. 
In 2011 P-18 was hit and killed by a vehicle in the same area, and an uncollared lion was hit and killed in 2009, officials said. 

On August 21st of this year mountain lion P-65 made history being the second collared female to have crossed the 101 freeway near Simi Hills. 

The National Park Service says P-61 was first captured and given a GPS collar in October of 2017. He weighed about 119 pounds and is 4-years-old. They say recording data on lions will help researchers learn about landscape connectivity in the area.

The Center for Biological Diversity released a statement saying: 

The center says they recently petitioned the state to protect Southern California mountain lions under the state's endangered species act.