A 4-year-old mountain lion famed for safely navigating his way across two of California’s busy freeways was found dead last week after surviving the Woolsey fire.
While the official cause of death remains unknown, P-64 ― also known as the “Culvert Cat” ― was found by a National Park Service (NPS) biologist with visibly burned paws last week.
The big cat earned its nickname after trackers observed him using a culvert (otherwise known as a storm drain) to cross the 101 Freeway, bypassing its dangerous traffic.
In a statement released Friday, the NPS said P-64′s GPS tracker had continued to transmit signals until Nov. 28, almost three weeks after the Woolsey fire first broke out.
“Our biologist hiked in to the location of the last GPS point on December 3 and found P-64′s remains nearby. He appeared to have been dead for a few days,” the statement read.
As HuffPost previously reported, scientists fear another young mountain lion, P-74, was killed by the deadly fire.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is expected to carry out a necropsy on P-64.