Mountain lion uses culvert to cross 101 Fwy in Agoura Hills

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A male mountain lion appeared to have found a way to cross the 101 Freeway in Agoura hills by using a long, dark culvert.

The National Park Service released pictures of P-64, who was captured and collared on Feb. 28. They said he headed south the following day and surprised everyone when he used the culvert.

Researchers said the animal's action underscores the location as ideal for a wildlife crossing.

P-64's, estimated to be 3 or 4 years of age, home range may include the northern portion of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Simi Hills, and the Santa Susana Mountains, according to the National Park Service

"It's really interesting that this mountain lion figured out how to use this extremely long and dark culvert under the freeway," said Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "We have had many other collared mountain lions come close to the freeway in the Liberty Canyon area and not manage to get across."

Caltrans has proposed building a wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway and Agoura Road in the Liberty Canyon area.

"This discovery is exciting because it reaffirms that the proposed wildlife crossing at Liberty Canyon is going in the right place and, once completed, will be used by mountain lions and other wildlife," added Riley. "Though we clearly cannot count on the Liberty Creek culvert in general for connectivity, it shows the importance of this location..."
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