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Freeway-crossing mountain lion dies north of LA

This May 7, 2015, file photo provided by the National Park Service shows adult male mountain lion taken with a remote camera who is now known as P-41. National Park Service biologists captured the mountain lion in the Verdugo Mountains a small range surrounded by suburbs north of downtown Los Angeles on May 7, marking the first time a large carnivore has been studied in that small and isolated mountain range. The National Park Service says the 10-year-old male dubbed P-41 was found dead Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, on the edge of the Verdugo Mountains, a small range surrounded by urban sprawl. National Park Service/AP

A mountain lion that managed to cross a Southern California freeway and make its home in the mountains north of Los Angeles has died.

The National Park Service says the 10-year-old male dubbed P-41 was found dead Wednesday on the edge of the Verdugo Mountains, a small range surrounded by urban sprawl.

Spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall says the carcass had deteriorated so the cause of death is unclear but it's possible a recent wildfire may have been a contributing factor. She says other cougars have died in fire areas after burning their paws on hot ground and being unable to hunt.

A necropsy will determine how P-41 died.

Biologists have been tracking P-41 since 2015. They believe he crossed State Route 2 — the Glendale Freeway — to reach his territory.