Mountain lion known as P45 blamed for mass alpaca slaughter in Malibu, California

MALIBU, California — It was a devastating scene for a Malibu homeowner -- a mountain lion slaughtered 10 of her pet alpacas Saturday night.

“The way mountain lions kill is they clamp off the windpipe, and all the animals were killed that way,” Wendell Phillips, who lives next door, told CBS Los Angeles. “He didn’t eat any of them.”

Phillips lost several alpacas of his own over the summer, also to a mountain lion attack. Fish and Wildlife identified the lion who killed his animals as P45. Phillips obtained a permit to kill the mountain lion. He tried to take P45 out but says the bullet only grazed him. Phillips believes this weekend’s attack was also the work of P45.

“If he was just eating one animal every once in a while because he was hungry, everyone would understand that. But this, no,” Phillips said.

People who live here estimate that more than 50 of their animals have been killed by mountain lions in less than a year.

“Nobody wants to kill him,” Phillips said. “He is an animal and I want to preserve his life, but I don’t want to donate my animals to the food chain.”

A spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife says it isn’t rare for a mountain lion to kill alpacas, but 10 overnight is extreme.  The area is known as lion country, so people who live here have tried to take steps to protect their pets. In this case, the mountain lion was able to get around an electrified fence. The homeowner has filed for a permit to kill the mountain lion.

Experts say mountain lions are not a threat to humans.