Mountain Lion Killed on Highway 17

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010  |  Updated 1:55 PM PDT
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Animals in the News

Frans Lanting/www.lanting.com

The big cat has injuries that indicate it was hit by a car.

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Why did the cougar cross the road? Maybe it was because he wanted to get to The Cats Restaurant on Highway 17.

Okay, that's a bad joke. But fitting.

A mountain lion hit and killed in Santa Cruz Monday morning drew a lot of attention and briefly snarled traffic.

Two drivers tried to drag the animal, an adult male, off the narrow roadway just outside The Cats Restaurant on Highway 17 before UC Santa Cruz mountain lion researchers got there to collect the carcass.

Researchers plan to do a necropsy, even though markings on his shoulder and leg seem to indicate the impact killed the big cat.

Fish and Game Lt. Don Kelly isn't surprised at the cougar versus car incident. He's had reports of at least three other mountain lions hit by cars over the past seven weeks, he told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

"It's just one of those wild animal things." Kelly told the Sentinel. "Deer get hit, pigs get hit, and this time, a mountain lion got hit."

Photo courtesy Frans Lanting Gallery.

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