A California man has been charged for the fatal shooting of a protected mountain lion. Alfredo Gonzalez, 60, is alleged to have shot a collared mountain lion known as P-38 in July.
According to AbcNews, the mountain lion was found dead in the Simi Valley area; he had been shot in the head and the collar with GPS capabilities had been vandalized. The cougar had been part of the population being studied by the National Park Service biologists.
Seven-year-old P-38 was first identified and collared in 2015; the seven-year-old male mountain lion roamed the Santa Susana Mountains. On July 2, biologists detected a mortality signal from the lion’s collar, and from there an investigation began. The motive behind the killing of the lion is unknown.
In California, it is against the law to kill a mountain lion without a permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Gonzalez has been charged with the unlawful taking of a protected mammal and vandalizing National Park Service property – the mountain lion’s collar valued at $950. If convicted, Gonzalez faces a punishment of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, as well as being required to pay restitution for vandalizing the collar.
Mountain lions are listed as endangered in California. P-38 is believed to have sired three kittens identified as P-50, P-51 and P-52 were discovered in the eastern part of Santa Susana Mountains in July 2016.
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