Mountain Lions Putting Fear Into Santa Monica Mountain Ranchers

MALIBU ( — Fear and concern is on the rise among ranchers living in the Santa Monica Mountains because they say mountain lions are on the attack, killing precious livestock.

CBS2’s Amy Johnson reports, they’re afraid they may kill humans next.

A lion named P45 is well known in the area but ranchers say he’s getting more and more hungry.

“He’s dangerous,” said Wendell Phillips. “This particular mountain lion has decided he has a taste for domestic animals and once they do that they usually don’t stop.”

Credit: Wendell Phillips

Credit: Wendell Phillips

Phillips says the lion has killed five of his alpacas – also known as small llamas.

“I’d like to see the mountain lion relocated,” Phillips said.

Phillips was told by the National Parks Service it’s against policy to move the mountain lions and his livestock needs to be protected from dusk to dawn. Phillips says  it’s too costly to keep them locked up with high fences.

The mountain lions in the area have been observed for the last 14 years.

“When a mountain lion kills unprotected livestock it’s an easy meal for him,” Kate Kuykendall, of the National Parks Service, said. “It’s not a sign of aggressive or abnormal behavior.”

The National Parks Service said it will be offering workshops for ranchers on how to better protect their livestock.

“It’s grizzly, but it’s nature,” Kuykendall said.




One Comment

  1. Monica Bey says:

    There are so few cougars in the Santa Monica Mountains. They need to be protected. Relocation is not a good option (based on science). Those with livestock and/or domestic animals need to put in place safeguards to protect them. Maybe that’s hiring someone (I believe that job in the past would have been called a shepherd) or putting in appropriate deterrents.

    If the cougar is hungry, put some food out for him. I’m sure that goes against the thinking of wildlife experts, but if he’s hungry … he should get fed.

    Fairly irresponsible reporting to not state the actual situation of mountain lions in the SM Mountains and that those with livestock have a responsibility to safeguard their investments. It’s not someone else’s job to do it. And it’s unconscionable to want wildlife killed because it’s inconvenient for some one or a few. As well, attacks by cougars on humans are extremely rare.

  2. this discussion for me always ends up at “population control”. How can we use our consciousness to limit our own existence? Are we just going to increase in population until some horrible disaseter takes place? What’s the plan ??

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