A young mountain lion that captivated the attention of San Franciscans in recent weeks after it was seen aimlessly roaming around Russian Hill and the Embarcadero was reportedly struck and killed by a vehicle along Highway 1 in Pacifica early Friday morning.

The 70-pound male North American cougar (a.k.a. mountain lion) was believed by Fish & Wildlife personnel to be between 12 and 18 months old, and was possibly wandering the city in search of territory, as young male cats like him will do. But this tendency to wander makes young male mountain lions more vulnerable to tragic encounters with vehicles, and around 100 of them are killed on California roadways each year according to the Chronicle's research.

This particular cat, which was roaming SF for possibly as long as a week before it was captured on June 18 after being spotted in Mission Bay by an SFPD officer, was found lifeless along the side of Highway 1 around 7:30 a.m. today, cutting his life far too short.

The cat's adventure, potentially his first after leaving the side of his mother, included an alleged attack on three marsupials at the San Francisco Zoo. Two wallaroos and a red kangaroo in the Australian Walkabout exhibit were killed by a predator at the zoo the week before the mountain lion was captured in the city — and experts hypothesized the cat had trotted up the coast from the area of the Crystal Springs Reservoir and Sweeney Ridge in San Mateo County, which is known to be home to several mountain lions.

After his capture, the mountain lion was taken to the Oakland Zoo for examination, and tagged by CA Fish & Wildlife, leading to today's identification.

To everybody who thought that his release back into the wild was a happy ending: Happy Friday in 2020!

Previously: Young Mountain Lion Spotted in Russian Hill and Embarcadero This Week Captured Near Oracle Park

Photo: Priscilla du Preez