A young mountain lion was struck by a car and killed earlier this week on Kanan Road in the Santa Monica Mountains, the National Park Service said Thursday.
The kitten was not tagged, leading officials to believe that it is not one of the lions being tracked by the NPS. An NPS team has captured and collared more than 20 cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains during a long-term study, including one particularly urban mountain lion known as P-22.
Officials also said the appearance of an untagged kitten suggests an untagged adult female mountain lion also is living in the mountains with a litter of kittens.
A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the kitten was killed on the southern section of Kanan Road that stretches toward Pacific Coast Highway. This is the first documented case of a mountain lion being killed on Kanan Road, but officials said other mountain lions have been killed on Las Virgenes Canyon Road, as well as several freeways.
"Samples have been collected from the kitten for genetic analysis, and we hope to determine paternity, and learn more about the genetics of the mother of this kitten," the NPS said on a Facebook page.
The website Urban Carnivores reported the kitten was between 3 and 4 months old.