Photo Credit: Clark Stevens – RCDSMM
The mountain lion blamed for a recent mass slaughter of alpacas may have dodged a bullet.
But a rancher’s reprieve for the P-45 cougar believed to have torn apart 11 alpacas and a goat last weekend drew international attention to the greater plight of the big cats in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Unless funds can be raised to build a $56 million wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway, up to 15 mountain lions hemmed in by the highway will certainly die out from inbreeding, biologists say.
“He’s dodged a big bullet,” said Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, state director for the National Wildlife Federation, of the cougar spared from being killed or relocated after his widely publicized attack. “We rallied for his cause. But it wasn’t just for one individual cat. We rallied for all the cats, 10 to 15 suffering from inbreeding and genetic isolation.
“We’re running out of time. Mountain lions are running out of time. They are the most acute case.”