The Southern California mountain lion population is the most endangered in the nation. Last week, a 2-year old mountain lion known as P-56 preyed on a flock of domestic sheep in the Santa Monica Mountains. In response, Senator Henry Stern and Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Peņa contacted the Mountain Lion Foundation for help.
The landowner welcomed help from MLF staff biologists Korinna Domingo and Diana Lakeland, who left their families and pre-Thanksgiving activities to meet the landowner at their property, ready to assist in securing the remaining sheep. The landowner had taken great precaution to protect their sheep from mountain lions by housing them in a pen from dusk to dawn but, unfortunately, a broken chain led to the loss of 4 sheep.
Domingo and Lakeland replaced the chain with a heavy-duty alternative and spent 3 hours carefully inspecting the pen to ensure it was as secure as possible. Existing fencing was reinforced with additional wire, several holes were patched, and additional recommendations were made to the landowner. Before leaving, Domingo and Lakeland set up a Bushnell trail camera, to capture video of the lion if he returns. CDFW will also be visiting the landowner and will install foxlights as an additional deterrent.
The landowner was very grateful to have MLF come to their home and help to ensure the safety of their sheep. They also asked MLF to inspect another pen that is used on a different part of the property during the spring, when the sheep graze a different part the property. The sheep are used by the landowner for clearing brush, which aids in protecting from wildfires.
MLF will return next month to check the trail camera and to inspect the other enclosure.
After leaving the property, Domingo and Lakeland met with Senator Stern at the site of the proposed Liberty Canyon Wildlife Crossing. An avid proponent of mountain lion and wildlife conservation in the Santa Monicas, Senator Stern was very pleased to hear of the work MLF had done to help keep P-56 safe.