A Southern California man has been charged with shooting and killing a protected mountain lion earlier this summer, prosecutors said. Alfredo Gonzalez, 60, of Simi Valley, Calif. is accused of shooting the collared mountain lion known as P-38 in the head, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s office.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold told Fox News National Park Service biologists discovered the lion's body in the Simi Valley area.
“The National Park Service got a mortality signal from the collar indicating that the lion was dead and they eventually went out to the location where the signal stopped and recovered the collar and discovered that it had been cut,” Wold said. “That’s when the Department of Fish and Wildlife started their investigation and after they located the mountain lion they contacted our office.”
Wold said the male lion was born in 2012 and was collared four years ago, adding that he mainly roamed areas of the Santa Susana Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains.
A California man faces criminal charges for allegedly shooting and killing a protected mountain lion, prosecutors said. (National Park Service)
Simi Valley man charged with killing mountain lion
Wold said, “generally speaking it is illegal to kill a mountain lion in Californian without a permit,” but added that there are exceptions.
She said Gonzalez has been charged with two misdemeanor counts, one for the unlawful taking of a protected mammal and one for vandalism of National Park Service property over the alleged cutting of the lion’s collar. Wold said the collar, which is “very sophisticated and maintains data on the mountain lion,” is worth more than $2,300.
“These are protected animals and it’s always sad when one dies regardless of the cause of death,” Wold told Fox News, adding that mountain lions are protected because “they are on the verge of becoming endangered species in our state.”
Wold said that Gonzalez is not currently in custody, but will be arraigned in Ventura Superior Court next month.
VENTURA, Calif. – A man was charged Tuesday for the July killing of a mountain lion in Simi Valley.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office filed criminal charges against Alfredo Gonzalez, 60, of Simi Valley for killing the mountain lion known as P-38 and the vandalism to its collar.
On July 10, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report from the National Park Service that the mountain lion may have been killed in Simi Valley after a mortality signal was detected on July 2.
The agencies were able to determine that the mountain lion died of a gunshot wound to the head.
It is against the law to kill a mountain lion without a permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
National Park Service biologists have been studying the mountain lion population for more than a decade. They collect information by placing a GPS-enabled radio collar on mountain lions in order to gather data.
P-38 was a male mountain lion born in 2012. It had primarily roamed portions of the Santa Susana Mountains.