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Fish and Wildlife Implements Non-lethal Options in Mountain Lion/Human Interactions

Back on Saturday February 16th of this year the Department of Fish and game dispatched a lion on the Steven’s trail after the cat circled a hiker and later was found following a warden in a threatening manner, it was at that point that the warden shot and killed the cat.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has seen a significant reduction in mountain lions killed as a result of new policy implemented in February without a risk to public safety. The new policy allows for more non-lethal options when there is an interaction between a mountain lion and humans.

Since the new policy was implemented, CDFW has ordered equipment for field staff to better handle the non-lethal means of handling human wildlife conflict calls. Many of the mountain lion and bear incidents that have happened have resulted in hazing wildlife away from the area of high public use or the darting and relocation of the animal, rather than lethal take. In one incident in January, a lion in Santa Barbara was relocated to the Los Padres National Forest. In another incident in Santa Cruz in May, a lion had fallen into a culvert and could not jump out. He was darted and later released in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest. These are just two of many incidents that have ended non-lethally.

Fish and wildlife

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