A mountain lion was found dead early Thursday along Interstate 405 on the west side of Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol said.
The cougar was removed from the southbound lanes near Mulholland Drive around 1 a.m. and will be examined by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
It’s not clear how the animal died, but KNBC-TV reports it appears the big cat was struck by a vehicle.
The mountain lion was not wearing a collar, which indicates it was not among the Southern California cougars being tracked and studied by the National Park Service.
The park service says at least 29 mountain lions have been killed by vehicles since 2002 within its study area, which includes the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Hills and Verdugo mountains.
Biologists are studying how the big cats live in habitat fragmented by urban sprawl, barriers that limit genetic diversity and with hazards ranging from poisons to roads and freeways.