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Mountain Lion, Suspected Of Attacks On Livestock, First To Be Killed Under State 'Three-Strike' Policy

THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A mountain lion being tracked by the National Park Service that had killed 12 livestock in Malibu over two years has been killed with permission from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(credit: National Parks Service)

P-56 was a male mountain lion between 4 and 5 years old, and had been living in the western Santa Monica Mountains south of the 101 Freeway. He was first caught and outfitted with a GPS tracking collar in April 2017. P-56 is believed to have fathered at least four kittens.

Mountain lions hunting has been banned in California since 1990 and the species is designated as a "specially protected mammal." But a "three-strike" policy was implemented by California Department of Fish & Wildlife in December 2017, requiring a property owner to take non-lethal measures against the lion before being given a "depredation permit."

Fish & Wildlife officials say the landowner in question first brought in as many livestock as possible, and then penned remaining animals close to buildings and used other measures like guard dogs, hot wire fencing, motion-activated lights and radio hazing, even though the incidents involving P-56 happened outside the boundary of the current geographic area for the three-strikes policy.

P-56 sleeping
(credit: National Park Service)

Over two years, the property owner's livestock was attacked nine times, with a total of 12 animals killed.

National Park Service biologists, who have been tracking mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains for 18 years, were notified that P-56 was killed on Jan. 27. It's not clear if P-56 was involved in all the attacks on the property owner's livestock.

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