A young mountain lion was shot by a California Highway Patrol Officer after the animal was struck by a car on Ortega Highway, officials said.
The cougar darted out in front of a Porsche driven by Edmund Gibbs of San Juan Capistrano, CHP spokesman Ken Daily said. Officer Steve Beeuwsaert, who had been following Gibbs' car, shot and killed the stricken animal Wednesday evening after determining that it had been critically injured but was still breathing, Daily said.
The lion, which CHP officials estimated to be about 2 years old and weighing 80 pounds, was wearing a radio transmitter placed there by members of the Orange County Lion Study team, Daily said. Beeuwsaert called Caspers Park officials who took the animal back to their park to be used in a natural science exhibit, Daily said.