Protecting highway-bound animals in L.A.

Roadkill, while a sad occurrence, is a rather prominent one on busy roads and highways today. It is arguable that just about every time we take these crowded routes we spot an animal that unfortunately met its untimely end while attempting to cross a road, and no matter how often we see this, I don’t think it makes it any easier.

Despite the somewhat inevitable presence of roadkill on our roadways, there is some positive news to share on the topic that is happening is Los Angeles.

“Running through the second-largest city in the country, and possessing of the most notorious traffic patterns, the 101 freeway in Los Angeles County is about to get a green makeover with the largest wildlife crossing overpass on Earth,” says an article from The Good News Network.

“LA County has a large mountain lion population, but the extensive development of the area and surrounding cities has created pockets of isolated habitat sliced up by immense roads like the 101, 110, and 405. This creates problems of not only the risk of lions attempting to cross the road and being killed by cars.

“Facilitated in part by Save LA Cougars and the National Wildlife Federation, 2,700 mostly private donors have raised $15 million for the construction of a 165-foot crossing that will pass over the 101 in Liberty Canyon, the designs for which are in the final stages of completion.

“The overpass will be covered in extra-dense trees and other vegetation, to make the crossing as silent and shaded as possible, so the lions will feel comfortable and secure in using it.

“Between Thousand Oaks and Calabasas, where some of the wealthiest Hollywood celebs have their digs, the freeway will connect two areas of wildlife habitat, Malibu Creek State Park/Santa Monica Mountains and Palo Comado Canyon, and will hopefully create a corridor through which lions can travel freely and reach other areas of the mountains.

“If fundraising continues, according to Save LA Cougars, a non-profit set up to support the project, ground will break on the overpass in 2021,” the article explains.

This is some pretty fantastic news pertaining to protecting animals as they cross high-traffic roads, and while this particular initiative is occurring in L.A., I think it is one that, with the required funding, could be put into practice all over the world.

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