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Mountain lion struck, killed by vehicle on Highway 126

An adult male mountain lion died after it was hit by a car along Highway 126, the latest big cat to meet an untimely end on Southern California’s busy roadways.

The collision occurred around 10 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of La Falda Way and Highway 126, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. A representative from the California Highway Patrol office in the area could not immediately be reached for additional information.

The incident was reported to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday morning, according to spokesman Tim Daly. An agency conflict specialist went out and collected DNA samples from the deceased animal, which had been moved to a California Department of Transportation facility.

The samples will be used to learn more about the specimen and determine its official cause of death.

Daly said the mountain lion was not collared or tagged, suggesting it was not tracked by researchers.

The mountain lion’s death is the most recent instance of the big cats falling victim to Southern California’s sprawling spiderweb of freeways.

Another adult male mountain lion without a tracking collar suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a vehicle west of Malibu in February; while P-81, a 4-year-old male cougar, died on Pacific Coast Highway in January.

In December, celebrity mountain lion P-22 was euthanized after suffering traumatic injuries consistent with being hit by a car. The death sparked mourning and tributes from fans across the region.

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