There’s growing controversy over what should happen to a mountain lion blamed for killing a half dozen animals at ranches in the mountains above Malibu.
11 alpacas and a goat died in Saturday and Sunday night incidents at two separate ranches, with both attacks blamed on the mountain lion named P-45 by researchers who track the big cat. The attacks prompted one of the ranchers to get a permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife allowing the mountain lion to be killed by a hunter. Department officials say the rancher had taken steps to protect the animals from mountain lions in a fenced enclosure with barbed wire.
But, officials with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area, which is involved in efforts to study and protect mountain lions says eliminating P-45 isn’t the answer. They say multiple mountain lions in the region have followed their instincts to kill livestock in recent years. The officials say the best solution is mountain lion proof animal enclosures for livestock. Some animal rights groups also say killing P-45 isn’t the right action.
Even before last weekend’s incident, the federal and state agencies had planned a public meeting to talk about how to safeguard animals against mountain lions. The meeting is at 7 Wednesday night at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura .