The so-called “Culvert Cat” is the only mountain lion recorded using a two-football-field-long underground tunnel to cross busy Southern California freeways.
Officially designated P-64 by the National Park Service and monitored by the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, this adult male mountain lion has been documented crossing the 101 and 118 freeways on 20 separate occasions over the past four months... and he's lived to tell the tale!
Actually, “Ranger Kate” of the SMMRA is the one telling tales, via the NPS unit's Twitter feed. Her latest posts dated June 15th, 2018 feature a pair of gorgeous hi-res photos of P-64 coming and going through the two-football-field-long unlit culvert that runs under the 101 Freeway. Good thing cats have such good night vision!
“Since we began following him in February, P-64 has proven quite adept at navigating Southern California's fragmented habitat,” stated Ranger Kate, “establishing a home range that consists of the northern Santa Monica Mountains, the Simi Hills, and the southern Santa Susana Mountains.”
“We call him the 'Culvert Cat' because he is the only mountain lion during our 16-year study that we've documented using a long and dark culvert under the 101 Freeway that is two football fields long.” Memo to hikers in the Santa Monica Mountains: avoid using that culvert as a short cut, you never know who (or what) you might meet along the way!