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Mountain Lion Tragically Killed by Vehicle After Recent Sighting in California City Streets

StoriesMountain Lion Tragically Killed by Vehicle After Recent Sighting in California City Streets

New admirers of the urban prowler were won over by infrequent reports of mountain lion activity in Oceanside’s downtown, but days later, experts question whether the same animal had been killed.

According to police, a car struck and killed a mountain lion about 7:25 p.m. on Friday, just north of the San Luis Rey River, NBC San Diego reported on Saturday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife contacted the San Diego Humane Society via email late on Friday about the cat’s passing, according to spokesman Jordan Frey.

She stated, “This animal was a younger male lion, probably a disperser, according to CDFW,” alluding to the young cat’s propensity to roam before the arrival of meteorological spring.

As this is the time of year when young mountain lions may start to disperse and seek territory of their own, Jordan added, “it’s difficult to say if it is the same lion that was being reported in the area this week.”

Officials from Fish and Wildlife were examining the animal, according to NBC San Diego.

Security footage from earlier in the week showed sightings in downtown Oceanside, a 172,000-person community where U.S. Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton enjoy freedom and leisure time at bars and specialty breweries.

According to Oceanside Police Department officer Tom Bussey, at least one cat—possibly more—made an appearance at a movie theater, along Coast Highway, and in the parking garage of Oceanside City Hall, as reported by NBC San Diego.

Megan Senour, a California Department of Fish & Wildlife expert on human-wildlife interaction, told the TV station that such encounters are extremely uncommon.

In spite of the segregation, the most populous state in the union is home to many mountain lions; in fact, half of the state is thought to be mountain lion habitat, according to Senour.

Experts have noted that although the mammals live in hills, mountains, and wildlife corridors with thick understory, they hardly ever interact with people. According to Andy Blue, campus director of the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center, they can go 10 to 12 miles each day along wildlife corridors. This was reported to NBC San Diego.

According to Blue, one reason why people might be noticing more wild cats is because security cameras are becoming increasingly common and are catching glimpses of mountain lions during previously unnoticed trips.

He remarked, “They’ve probably been in these areas all along; we just weren’t really aware of it until you saw it in the middle of the night on your camera.”

The state’s status of “special protected species” applies to the cats, making it illegal to own, transfer, import, or sell any component or product made from mountain lions, including taxidermy mounts.

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