Mountain lion that made rare crossings of Highway 101 found dead

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A Southern California mountain lion known for successfully crossing the daunting U.S. 101 freeway twice has been found dead.

National Park Service officials announced Wednesday the death of P-55, an approximately 3-year-old male that was part of a study of cougars in and around the Santa Monica Mountains.

The cause of death is unknown because his tracking collar failed to emit a “mortality signal” and his remains were too decomposed when found.

Officials say the seemingly healthy cougar possibly died from ingesting rat poison or a fight with another male.

P-55 first made news when he crossed the wide and busy 101 last year west of Los Angeles. He later crossed back.

The highway is a formidable barrier for dispersal of the cats from the Santa Monicas. Few have succeeded.

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