AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Animal rights advocates didn’t hold back Wednesday night after learning the Department of Fish and Wildlife recently issued a 10-day permit to allow ranchers in the Santa Monica Mountains to shoot and kill the lion known as P-45.
The permit was issued because authorities believe P-45 killed 10 alpacas on one property, and then a goat and alpaca on another property Thanksgiving weekend.
It was a packed house at the meeting in Agoura Hills for livestock owners to find a solution to protecting their animals from hungry mountain lions.
The only long-term solution to keeping the big cats in the wild around Los Angeles at bay is to erect mountain lion-proof enclosures for pets and livestock, according to the National Park Service.
Relocating P-45 will not work since it will eventually come back to its home range, officials say.
“They bring alpacas from South America to the middle of mountain lion country and mountain lion country goes for the alpacas, and now they want to kill the mountain lion?” activist Judy Mancuso of Social Compassion in Legislation asked. “No one wants anyone to shoot P-45.”
Rancher Wendell Phillips says P-45 killed five of his eight alpacas in the past. When the lion came back the second time, Phillips shot at him, but the bullet ended up grazing him on the head.
“They need to walk a mile in the rancher’s shoes,” Phillips said. “This is only going to end one way. P-45 is not going to quit killing. And sooner or later, he’s going to come on a ranch, and he’s going to get shot.”
The meeting ended in applause after rangers showed the crowd pictures of P-45’s cubs.