California mountain lion is first to be killed under state’s ‘three-strike’ law

Pets and Animals

Mountain lion P-56 (Photo: National Park Service)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (CBS NEWS) — A California mountain lion has been killed with permission from officials, marking the first time a mountain lion with a tracking collar has been killed under the state’s depredation law in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the National Park Service.

The mountain lion, dubbed P-56, was a male between 4 and 5 years old who had been living in the western Santa Monica Mountains south of the 101 Freeway, CBS Los Angeles reports. He is suspected of attacking animals at a property in the city of Camarillo, according to The Associated Press.

Mountain lion hunting in California was banned in 1990. But a mountain lion can still be killed legally “if it harms pets or livestock” and a property owner asks the California Department of Fish and Wildfire (CDFW) for “a depredation permit,” says a statement posted by the National Park Service.

Officials implemented a “three-strike” policy in 2017 that requires a property owner to take non-lethal measures against a lion before a lethal permit is issued.

Officials say the landowner in this case reported nine incidents of depredation over a two-year period that resulted in the loss of a dozen animals. They say the person took protective measures – bringing in as many livestock as possible and penning remaining animals close to buildings. Guard dogs, hot wire fencing, motion-activated lights and radio hazing were also used, according to the National Park Service’s statement.

Biologists with the National Park Service were told that P-56 was killed in late January, according to its statement.

Researchers have been tracking mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains for nearly 18 years for a study of how they make out in the region.

P-56 was given a GPS tracking collar in 2017.

“The loss of a breeding male is a concern for the study, especially when the population is already very small,” Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist for the research project, said in a statement. “There are always animals out there that are not being tracked. Currently, there is only one adult male in the Santa Monica Mountains that we are tracking and that is P-63.”

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

More headlines from CBS17.com:

For more stories like this that matter to you, click here to download the CBS 17 News app for free.

Watch live newscasts, get breaking news and sign up for push alerts – download now

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Buy Local

Trending Stories

Don't Miss