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Permit Issued To Kill Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Mountain Lion


A permit has been issued to allow a homeowner to hunt P-45, a male mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains of California/NPS

In the quilt of public and private lands that fall within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, wild and domestic animals live relatively side-by-side. But when animals such as mountain lions view alpacas and goats as meals, California officials can essentially sign death warrants for the cats. That's been done in the case of P-45, a mountain lion thought to be responsible for the recent predation of 11 alpacas and a goat.

"A large amount of the land within our park boundary is privately owned (43 percent), and a number of private landowners have hobby animals or, in some cases, a decent-size herd of alpacas or goats," NRA spokeswoman Kate Kuykendall said in an email. "We continue to have issues with animals not being protected in this environment, and a number of mountain lions have preyed on them, especially over the past year.

"But P-45's home range is in an area where the herd sizes (and thus opportunity) tend to be larger, so that particular part of the mountains has been upset for some time and has wanted him dead. A resident previously got a permit from the state and took a shot and, we think, injured him, but he survived. Now another resident has received a permit to do the same."

Last weekend, 10 alpacas were killed in one incident and one alpaca and a goat were killed in another, the spokeswoman said. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated the predations and determined that a mountain lion was behind them.

P-45 is a male lion, thought to have been born either in 2012 or 2013, according to NRA biologists. He also is thought to be one of the largest mountain lions in the NRA.

After the permit to hunt the mountain lion was issued, the National Park Service released the following statement:

We extend our condolences to those who have lost a pet or animal as a result of being preyed upon by native wildlife. This is extremely unfortunate for everyone.

Our partners at the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) have issued a permit, as they are required under state law, for the mountain lion known as P-45 to be killed within 10 days. Although we conduct research on the local mountain lion population, CDFW is responsible for managing the state's wildlife.

We respect the legal process that is currently underway, but also suggest that we all need to work together in the future to ensure that pets and livestock are safe and that mountain lions can continue to roam in the Santa Monica Mountains, as they have done for millennia. 

... The only long-term solution to keeping mountain lions in these mountains is mountain-lion-proof enclosures for otherwise defenseless animals. Eliminating P-45 does not solve the problem, especially given there are at least four mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains that have killed livestock over the past year. Nor is P-45's behavior abnormal or aberrant in any way, even if the number of animals killed is large. In a typical natural setting, animals flee from a mountain lion attack, but if animals are stuck in an unsecured pen, a mountain lion's natural response can be to prey upon all available animals.


I don't know, this may be fall in the catagory of living in a WUI.  If you want to have hobby animals in an area inhabited by mountain lions seems to me it is up to you to protect those hobby animals or suffer the consequences of you making the decision to put them in harms way.  

According to this morning's CBS news, the woman who asked for the permit to kill the lion has now asked that it not be killed, but relocated instead.

I really hate the term 'hobby animal', as evidenced by Eric's deriding comment above. I live in the boonies, just outside a national park. It is my property - acreage that I will be paying the mortgage on for years to come. I have a heard of cats that I take aggressively reasonable precautions with [all locked up at sundown] and also have a chicken coop that we handbuilt to withstand most predators other than a marauding bear [which is an assumed risk - we've had scat and prints in our carport.] We know the risks, have minimized them, and worst case have a shotgun handy.


My animals are not a "hobby" any more than my wife is. My animals are family. Someone with no money or emotion invested in my property and family who choses to use the term to sneer at my family just let me know where the next delivery of guano will be delivered.

Rick - the term "hobby animal" originated from the article not me.  The article did not use it in a derisive sense and neither did I.   If you do all you can to protect them and assume the risk were you can't, we are in agreement. You blast a bear to save your cat, you might raise a few back hairs on this site.  

Sorry - I see the source of the term, which I still dislike greatly. If I read your use of it and heard it in what I presume is your usual tone of voice around here, and that was inaccurate in this one instance, go in peace.


And my first shotgun blast at a bear not charging me or mine will be into the dirt directly in front of it, just as I was taught in riot control classes in the national guard years ago. A few pellets richocheting up can alter behavior and direction.

This is a function of shrinking habitat and competition by predators for food on what little remains. Perhaps people who live near wilderness areas will be happier when these predators are vanished entirely. It's happening to the Florida panther. Will the California mountain lion soon be next?

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