When the 15-month-old mountain lion known by National Park Service animal trackers as “P-18” (real cute) was killed on the 405 last Tuesday morning, adorable photos circulated of little P-body in his prime kitten years.
So sweet! And so young, to die! (See, right.)
But the only news outlet with the balls to print the “after” shot — a bloody, mangled mess that could induce guilt in even the proudest Hummer douche — was the Acorn, a lovely and admirably thorough local-news blog that serves the Valley's hilly outskirts. So here they are: P-18's before and after pics. Be forewarned that they're not for the squeamish.
But even if you're squeamish, do yourself a favor and look anyway, because you're a terrible human who (presumably) drives a car, or at least takes part in L.A.'s dreadful freeway system in some way, and you deserve to see what you've done. (Sorry for the bleeding-heart rant there. Something about P-18's beautiful self, even in death, inspires it in us.)
Here he is, happily navigating the Santa Monica Mountains circa July 2011.
And here he is, not so happily, on Tuesday, after trying to cross the 405 South, just below the Getty.
Sorry to end your week like this, but remember: It was worse for P-18. It's one thing when cars crash into other cars on the 405. (Or when cars almost crash into crazy naked people.) But when innocent, unknowing animals get involved, it's the most heartbreaking thing on Earth.
“Investing in connected pieces of parkland and constructing wildlife crossings along major freeways around Los Angeles is essential for long-term mountain lion survival,” reads the National Park Service's obit for P-18.