November 29, 2016
Contact: Kate Kuykendall
We extend our condolences to those who have lost a pet or other 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. To that end, we are co-hosting a workshop tomorrow night with CDFW (http://bit.ly/2faU2sF) that will offer simple and affordable solutions to protect animals in safe enclosures. We have worked with a number of landowners in the past to develop solutions that have successfully protected goats and alpacas.
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.
We look forward to working with local residents and our partners to keep pets and livestock safe and also to keep these mountains wild.