A bobcat that survived a devastating Southern California wildfire last year didn’t survive a car crash.
An adult male bobcat known as B-361 died last week after being struck by a car in Calabasas, about 30 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area tweeted Monday.
Scientists tracked B-361 as it traveled between the scorched Malibu Canyon and areas where the flames did not reach. The Woolsey Fire last fall torched nearly 97,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, killing three people and destroying 16,000 structures.
Along with three other bobcats that researchers were monitoring, B-361 found the resources it needed after its home range burned, according to a National Park Service report.
Large animals such as mountain lions and deer, the service said, can sometimes escape flames by covering ground quickly. Small animals have lower survival chances during wildfires while reptiles and amphibians try to burrow underground, the service said.
The wildfire burned more of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which includes Malibu Canyon, than any other fire in recorded history. Multiple parks and trails are still closed four months after firefighters contained the blaze.
Cars have fatally struck at least 18 mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains study area since 2002, according to its website. Scientists will do a necropsy on the bobcat’s body.
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Contributing: Associated Press