The Latest: Malibu rancher says she won't kill mountain lion
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MALIBU, Calif. — The Latest on controversy following a Malibu rancher who got a permit to kill a mountain lion that preyed on her livestock (all times local):
A Malibu rancher who got a California state permit to shoot a mountain lion preying on her alpacas says she never intended to have the cougar killed and hopes it's relocated instead.
Victoria Vaughn-Perling said Thursday she got the permit to draw attention to the issue and was surprised at the anger has erupted over the possibility that the mountain lion could be killed.
Last weekend, Vaughn-Perling found 10 of her alpacas dead at her ranch in the rugged Santa Monica Mountains above the tony Malibu coast.
The area is the territory of a male lion known as P-45. He is among a small number of big cats living in the mountain range that runs from near downtown Los Angeles about 40 miles west.
The mountain lion population is hemmed in by freeways and urban sprawl.
They face threats of being hit by vehicles, poisoned by rodenticides and a lack of genetic diversity.
Minutes from the ocean views of Malibu mansions, a rancher has obtained a rare permit to fatally shoot a mountain lion killing livestock.
The permit is angering animal lovers, park rangers working to protect the species and nearby Los Angeles urbanites who've developed an affinity for the big cats.
Malibu ranch owner Victoria Vaughn-Perling obtained the 10-day permit Monday after finding 10 of her alpacas dead over the weekend.
A mountain lion known as P-45 is believed responsible for killing the llama-like animals.
Vaughn-Perling says she has tried to protect her alpacas from P-45 following previous attacks by installing motion lights and electrified fencing.
But she says P-45 "seems to enjoy the slaughter."
Park rangers say Vaughn-Perling could protect her alpacas by building a roofed enclosure for them.