A mountain lion was found dead on the side of Highway 1 in Cambria on Thursday morning.
The dead animal was reported on the side of Highway 1 just south of Ardath Drive by a passerby at about 7:50 a.m., according to Capt. Todd Tognazzini with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The lion was a “sub-adult” female and weighed about 50 to 60 pounds, Tognazzini said. It had been hit and killed by a car.
Details were not available regarding the type of car that hit the mountain lion or when the crash occurred, since the dead lion wasn’t reported at the time of the crash, Tognazzini said. The death is not considered suspicious, Tognazzini said.
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“Unfortunately, the mountain lion crossed the road at the wrong time,” Tognazzini said.
The lion will be frozen and a necropsy will be performed, according to Tognazzini.
Tognazzini said that, on average, there are about three to five “road-killed” mountain lion deaths per year in SLO County, meaning that those lions are hit and killed instantly by a car.
The three most common spots in San Luis Obispo County where mountain lions are hit by cars are Highway 46 West, the Cuesta Grade and in the Thompson Avenue area of Nipomo, adjacent to Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Tognazzini said.
Back in May, another young mountain lion was hit by a car on upper Santa Rosa Creek Road near Cambria and later died of its injuries. And in April, a mountain lion was hit and killed on Highway 101 near the San Luis Bay Drive exit.