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)
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 (CBSLA) — Criminal charges have been filed against a Simi Valley man for allegedly shooting a protected mountain lion in the head.
Alberto Gonzalez is accused of killing the animal, known as P-38 and vandalizing its collar. It’s against the law to kill a mountain lion without a permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The seven-year-old male was first collared in 2015 and mainly roamed in parts of the Santa Susana Mountains.
National Park Service biologists have used GPS-enabled radio collar data to study mountain lions for more than a decade.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report in July from the NPS that the mountain lion may have been killed in Simi Valley after a mortality signal was detected.
Gonzalez lived on the Brandeis-Bardin campus of the American Jewish University in Simi Valley, where the shooting took place.
The University says the shooting “deeply saddened” their entire community and that they’ve been fully cooperating with the Ventura County District Attorney. They also pledged to work closely with authorities to ensure that “AJU is fully prepared for any foreseeable situations involving wildlife in the future.
Gonzalez faces two misdemeanor charges and will be arraigned on October 9 at the Ventura Superior Court.