Reward Offered for Info Leading to Who Killed Cougar
BY ANNE SOBLE
A $5000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the poacher or poachers who killed a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains last month.
The California Department of Fish and Game's CAL-TIP hotline is providing $2500, and the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are jointly matching that amount.
The mountain lion, aka cougar or puma, was discovered on Sept. 11 after DFG and the National Park Service received a call about the remains of a carcass in the westernmost Santa Monicas in Ventura County.
Concerns about the seven-year-old male cougar's fate had already been raised when the NPS tracking collar that was used to follow the animal's movements for almost two years stopped transmitting signals.
The big cat known as P-15 (P is for the species Puma concolor) regularly traversed Malibu as it explored the full extent of the Santa Monica range.
DFG game wardens opened an official investigation after it was determined that P-15 did not die of natural causes and had been severely mutilated, most likely for bragging rights by whoever killed it.
Mountain lions are designated as a "specially protected mammal" in California, and it is illegal to hunt or trap them. An unauthorized killing is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
DFG and the National Park Service ask that anyone with information regarding the case call the DFG Cal-Tip hotline at 1-888-334-2258.