Letters to the Editor: We need to treat cougar P-97’s death as the emergency it is

P-97, an 18-month-old male mountain lion, was struck and killed on the 405 Freeway.
P-97, an 18-month-old male mountain lion, was struck and killed on the southbound 405 Freeway near the Getty Center on April 21.
(Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

To the editor: We’re inured to cougar roadkill. On April 21, the eve of Earth Day, we had the 26th in this region within the last two decades.

Your article, while helpful, failed to offer actions that can be taken to mitigate these roadkill. I offer some suggestions:

  • Post warning signs at known cougar crossings, and post a reduced speed limit at these locations.
  • Increase and enforce civil and criminal penalties for violation of statutes protecting threatened or endangered species.
  • Acquire and restore through eminent domain known cougar habitats, including the entire 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch, where 11 were killed by hunters, and designate them as wildlife sanctuary.
  • Link the plight of cougars to the human-caused sixth mass extinction and to the climate crisis.

Robert Leyland Monefeldt, Los Angeles


To the editor: Tragic as it is, the death Thursday of cougar P-97, struck by a car on the 405 Freeway, couldn’t be more relevant.


He is truly the paschal lamb of the movement to save future pumas by erecting wildlife crossings, in particular, the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing over the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills, whose groundbreaking was Friday.

May P-97’s death help save countless other animals who dare to traverse our mega-highways.

Natalie Hall, Encino


To the editor: We humans have created cars that can drive themselves, with our assistance. Some cars will even stop for me if they sense me crossing a street.

Cougars in Southern California are tagged and tracked. How much of a challenge would it be to put another gizmo on the collar that gives the animal a small electric shock if it is about to cross the 405 and there is oncoming traffic?

Hopefully, Assembly Bill 2344, currently in the state Legislature, will pass, and 10 more wildlife overpasses will be thrown up in a jiffy to eliminate “roadside kill hot spots.”

Lisa Edmondson, Los Angeles