Will L.A. free its trapped mountain lion with a wildlife overpass?

Mountain lion trapped in L.A.'s Griffith Park, photo courtesy of Miguel Ordenana and the Griffith Park Connectivity Study

Mountain lion trapped in L.A.’s Griffith Park, photo courtesy of Miguel Ordenana and the Griffith Park Connectivity Study

In the midst of the mega-busy urban jungle that is Los Angeles, Griffith Park is a shining green belt, filled with wildlife and beauty. But some of its wildlife aren’t being served by being there.

The 4,000 acre green space is hone to a trapped wild mountain lion. Known as P-22, experts believe he had to traverse the hazardously busy 405 and 101 freeways. It’s amazing that he survived the trek. Greater Los Angeles abuts the Santa Monica Mountains National Park. Griffith Park is effectively an extension, severed as it is by Highways 405 and 101. Wild animals are regularly struck and killed by cars. Worse still, this isolates some its wildlife populations, creating inbreeding and aggressive behavior.

Wildlife animal crossing in Canada’s Banff National Park. Could this be a solution for L.A.’s trapped mountain lion?

There is a solution – creating a wildlife overpass. There’s precedent for this. Places like Canada’s Banff National Park, Ecoducts in The Netherlands and France and several wildlife bridges in the United States – including in Montana and Colorado – all provide safe passage for wildlife.

The cost of an ecobridge is steep. Unofficial estimates place the cost at about $4 million, and the project was recently denied a federal grant. But supporters press on, hoping to find funding to help save these threatened animals. Hopefully they’ll succeed in their important quest.

 

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