LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Boeing has donated $1 million toward construction of a bridge over a Southern California highway to allow mountain lions and other animals to move between fragmented wilderness areas, the National Wildlife Federation said Thursday.
The donation was announced at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, which has an exhibit featuring a famous mountain lion that has lived in LA's sprawling Griffith Park since 2012 after surviving crossings of two major freeways.
"As we prepare to break ground on the landmark conservation project this spring, the generous contribution from Boeing leaves the (hash)SaveLACougars campaign with an estimated only $5-10 million left to raise toward construction costs," Dirk Sellers, the federation's chief development officer, said in a statement.
The planned wildlife crossing would be built west of Los Angeles at Liberty Canyon, stretching over 10 lanes of heavily traveled U.S. 101 to connect the coastal Santa Monica Mountains on the south to hill country to the north.
Boeing's Santa Susana Field Laboratory lies to the north and is home to numerous species of wildlife.
In particular, mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains are at risk of losing genetic diversity because of the difficulty of dispersing.