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By Phil Helsel
A mountain slope known to cross the Los Angeles area’s remarkable busy highways has died after surviving Woolsey Fire, National Park Service said Friday . 1
9659007] The death cause of the big cat, known as the P-64, which was home to the Simi Hills, the North Santa Monica Mountains and the Southern Santa Susana Mountains, has not been determined, but its “paws were visibly burned.” Wilderness broke out on November 8 and destroyed 1 643 homes and other structures.
Three people were also killed in the fire, which was completely contained by November 21st. The names have not been released and identifications are expected, said Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office. The fire forced the evacuation of Malibu and other communities and burned nearly 97,000 hectares, officials said.
“The P-64 was a fascinating cat to study because he crossed our infamous deadly highways tens of times,” Jeff Sikich, biologist of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, said in a statement.
The Mountain Lion crossed the 101 highway several times, using a long and narrow storm drain, earned it the nickname “The Culvert Cat.”
It passed 101 and 118 highways a total of 41 times during the nine months the researchers had tracked. While almost all 101 crossings were probably through the divide, some of the crossings of the 118 were likely on the surface, although there are also tunnels in the area, says Kate Kuykendall, an NPS spokeswoman.
The remains of the about 4-year-old male mountain lion were found Monday after Sikich hiked to the site of the last known GPS point noted on a tracking device, NPS said.
An necropsy or an autopsy made on animals will be performed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine a cause of death.
The P-64 was only fifth mountain slope to be documented successfully crossing the 101 highway since NPS began tracking ing mountain lions in 2002, NBC reported Los Angeles in March. The animal was first caught in February 2018 in Simi Hills, said the park service.
The animal seemed to have been dead for a few days when it was found, the park said the service. After the fire broke out, the P-64 traveled over Simi Hills for the next few days and covered several miles before “then crushed in a remote area,” said NPS.
The Mountain Lion was located with a telemetry scheme on November 26, more than two weeks after the fire started, in an uninterrupted area of Simi Hills, giving scientists hope that the P-64 was dead and survived in the aftermath of the fan, the park said .  Another mountain sledge, a young man named P-74, is believed to have died in Woolsey Fire or its immediate aftermath, the park said the service. Of the 13 mountain slots tracked by researchers in the region, 11 were in or around the arctic, and nine of them survived.
Perhaps the most famous of the mountain trail, P-22 tracked, whose range includes popular Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
The mountain population in the Los Angeles area is genetically isolated due to motorways and human development, which has increased the fear of their long-term profitability, Kuykendall said.
A project to create a grassy bridge across the 101 highway in Agoura Hills to help wildlife is at work and can occur in 2022, and Woolsey Fire “really underlined the benefits of the crossing,” she said.