SCV Outdoor Report: Why Did The Mountain Lion Cross The Road?
"Why did the Mountain Lion cross the road?
"To get to the other side?"
"She didn't make it across the road...."
Sometime last Monday night or early Tuesday morning, a female mountain lion was hit by a car and killed. The accident occurred on the I-5, just south of Calgrove Boulevard. MRCA Ranger Ken Nelson thinks she was traveling from west to east, because she was found on the southbound side.
Why was she there at that time of night? Because Mountain lions are most active between dusk and dawn.
What was she looking for? She could have been in search of deer, her preferred food source. Ranger Nelson says he spotted a deer carcass in Elsmere Canyon about a week ago that could be have been her cache. According to a National Park Service website,
"One lion can consume up to 20 or 30 pounds of meat
in a single meal. After feeding on its kill, the lion will
cache the prey, or bury it in a secluded spot. The Mountain
Lion will return to feed on the prey for up to 10 days."
Why that particular spot? Mountain lions have large territories - up to 125 square miles - and can travel 20 miles in a day.
The area south of Calgrove Boulevard is part of the wildlife corridor connecting the Santa Susana Mountains with the San Gabriel Mountains through the triangular-shaped "Newhall Wedge", which lies between the I-5 and the 14. There are only two "safe" passages for mountain lions across the I-5 barrier: one is an underpass and one is an overpass.
The one of the two wildlife crossings between the Santa Susana Mountains and the Newhall Wedge.
She may have traveled safely through that wildlife corridor many time. Until last Monday night....
That's one of the reasons why the City of Santa Clarita established an Open Space Preservation District in 2007. The OSPD work program provides a checklist for evaluating land, which includes "wildlife migration corridor".
We want to make sure that these corridors and the core habitat they connect remain available to all the residents of the Santa Clarita valley, including those who move about at night on four padded feet.
For more information about Mountain Lions:
To hear a Mountain lion yowl, go to:
To hear it purr, go to:
Upcoming Outdoor Events:
Saturday, May 23rd, and every Wednesday, 8:00 AM. Trail Maintenance Volunteers at Towsley Canyon.
Come join our trail maintenance volunteers for camaraderie and a heart-thumping workout. For more information contact Steve Ioerger at 661-291-1565.
You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.