Innocent mountain lion kitten laying on rock holding feather with text: Senator Jerry Hill and MLF author Senate Bill 132 ... the answer to a lion's cry for help.

Who Supported Senate Bill 132?

Action for Animals, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Animal Rescue Team, Born Free USA, Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife, Inc. (CLAW), Earth Island Institute's Wildlife Alive Project, East Bay Regional Park District, Feline Conservation Center, Felidae Conservation Fund, Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), In Defense of Animals, Marin Humane Society, Mountain Lion Foundation, Oakland Zoo, Ojai Wildlife League, PawPAC, Planning and Conservation League, Project Coyote, Public Interest Coalition, Sierra Club California, Sierra Nevada Alliance, and Wildlife Emergency Services.

California Mountain Lion Public Safety Bill

The killing of two mountain lion kittens in Half Moon Bay, California, sparked legislation to change how the California Department of Fish & Wildlife handles mountain lion public safety situations. On September 6th, the landmark bill was signed into law. Read through this page to learn more about SB 132 and relive our journey to pass the first nonlethal mountain lion public safety bill.

2014 Update: Senate Bill 132 is Saving Lions!

Senate Bill 132 went in effect on January 1, 2014 — now known as Fish and Game Code Section 4801.5. Within a week, the new law helped save the life of an orphaned lion cub in Buellton. Visit our Public Safety Incidents in California Since SB132 page to catch up on the latest news stories and see Senate Bill 132 in action!

December 2, 2013 Update: Celebration a Success!

MLF Tim Dunbar and Senator Jerry Hill holding framed lion poster.
Mountain Lion Foundation Executive Director Tim Dunbar presents Senator Jerry Hill with framed artwork and poem "Memo to the Mountain Lion" to thank him for authoring Senate Bill 132.

Senator Jerry Hill, Half Moon Bay Mayor Rick Kowalczyk, the Mountain Lion Foundation, other wildlife groups, the press, and the community all gathered Sunday afternoon to celebrate the passage of Senate Bill 132.

The new law makes California a little safer for mountain lions and helps provide assistance to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife when resolving lion encounters with the public.

The Mountain Lion Foundation thanked Senator Hill and his dedicated staff for all their hard work to pass the bill.

Although the live lion was unable to make an appearance, the event was a great opportunity for MLF staff to meet our amazing supporters in Half Moon Bay. Thank you to everyone who attended on Sunday, and a huge thank you to everyone who wrote support letters to get the bill passed.

There is still more work to be done to save lions, but we were thankful to have a day to stop and celebrate just how far we've come!

Weren't able to make it? Watch the press conference now:

November 18, 2013 Update: Come Celebrate SB 132 with Us!

Photo of happy lion on grass.

Come celebrate with the Mountain Lion Foundation, Senator Jerry Hill, Half Moon Bay Mayor Rick Kowalczyk, and many wildlife organizations that helped pass this landmark legislation.

Senate Bill 132 is a small step towards greater protection of mountain lions. It requires the use of nonlethal procedures when a mountain lion accidentally wanders into town and poses no threat to the public. Learn more about the new law one month before it goes into effect, and see a live mountain lion ambassador up close!

When: Sunday, December 1st, 2013
Start Time: 11:00 am
End Time: 1:00 pm
Where: Mac Dutra Park, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 (corner of Main Street and Kelly Street)

Free and open to the public. Please join us!

Click here to view or print the event flier.

Click here to view or print the event press release.

September 6, 2013 Update: Senate Bill 132 Signed into Law!

WE DID IT! Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 132, officially making the bill California state law. The Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) thanks the Governor, Senator Hill, and the entire California Legislature for voting to pass this landmark legislation that will help protect mountain lions that come into contact with people but pose no imminent threat to public safety.

Thank you to all our members and supporters who helped pass this bill!

August 26, 2013 Update: Senate Bill 132 Passes the Legislature!

The Mountain Lion Foundation (MLF) applauds the California Legislature for voting to curtail the inhumane practice of killing mountain lions that come into contact with people but pose no imminent threat to public safety.

Senate Bill 132 — authored by Senator Jerry Hill, D-Santa Clara — passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously, but returned to the Senate floor today for a final vote on amendments made in the Assembly. The bill passed the concurrence vote with only two nay votes, easily achieving the 4/5ths vote required for changes to Proposition 117, the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990.

For more information, read MLF's August 26th news story, Californa Senate Bill 132 Passes Out of the State Legislature.

The bill now advances to the Governor's desk with widespread public support. "With this very important vote, California is one step closer to ending the unnecessary killing of mountain lions." said Timothy Dunbar, Executive Director of the Foundation. "We applaud Senator Hill for recognizing the value of mountain lions to California's environment and for championing nonlethal responses to mountain lion encounters."

Please send a letter in support of Senate Bill 132 to:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

You may also telephone the Governor's office to express your support: (916) 445-2841

or you may EMAIL the governor.

August 19, 2013 Update: Passed Full Assembly!

Congratulations Everyone!!!! At 2:13 pm today, California Senate Bill 132 passed out of the Assembly on a 75 to 0 vote after presentation by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson. Thus, the bill has received not a single nay vote throughout its voting history. Thanks to all of you who have supported the bill with your donations, calls and letters, and thanks to Senator Jerry Hill and his remarkable staff for getting us this far. SB 132 is now expected to appear once more before the Senate for concurrence of a technical amendment on Monday, August 26. Then on to Governor for signing. We'll need your help again in urging the Governor to sign, so keep an eye out here for the latest call to action!

August 14, 2013 Update: Passed Assembly Appropriations

Senate Bill 132 passed California's Assembly Appropriations Committee today. The bill is expected to be presented on the Assembly floor for a vote this upcoming Monday, August 19th.

July 2, 2013 Update: Passed First Assembly Committee

Senate Bill 132 passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee this morning. For the latest review and summary of the bill, read the Assembly's SB 132 Brief.

The bill is now being reviewed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. We are preparing for the Assembly floor vote. To help ensure SB 132 passes this critical step with the necessary 4/5ths vote, please contact your Assembly Member and ask him or her to vote for Senate Bill 132.

Click here to look up your Assembly Member.

MAY 28, 2013 UPDATE: Passed the Senate!

After being suspended for over a month, the bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and a floor vote in the Senate.

SB 132 needed a 4/5ths vote on the Senate floor to pass. Not only did it receive enough votes, it passed unanimously, with every single Senator voting in favor! Our staff is thrilled and hoping for similar results as SB 132 now moves to the Assembly.

APRIL 9, 2013 UPDATE: Passed First Committee

Just after 10:00 a.m. this morning Senate Bill 132 was heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Twenty organizations submitted support letters ahead of time, and not a single group formally opposed the bill. During the hearing, eight of the nine committee members were present (Senator Canella was absent), and all eight voted in support of SB 132. Senator Canella later also voted to approve the bill.

Senate Bill 132 will now head to the Senate appropriations committee and then a floor vote in the Senate. If 4/5ths approval is achieved, the bill will proceed onto the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee for another hearing. To help Senate Bill 132 continue to pass smoothly through the legislature, please sign up for updates and MLF will notify you of future action items. Thank you.

MARCH 18, 2013 UPDATE: Committee Hearing Scheduled

Senate Bill 132 will be heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee on April 9th. Support letters for the bill will be given to the committee members on April 1st for review.

Thank you for helping MLF pass this important bill.

MARCH 1, 2013 UPDATE: CDFW Releases "Draft" of New Guidelines

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a "draft" version of its revised mountain lion guidelines. The new policy will direct Department personnel when responding to mountain lion public safety and depredation incidents.

The Department has included sections about rehabilitating mountain lions as well as partnering with outside organizations to help resolve potential public safety situations with nonlethal measures. However, CDFW will not be able to utilize these new options until Senate Bill 132 passes thus giving them the legal authority to do so.

In addition to the improved treatment of mountain lions that accidentally wander into town, the new policy provides a flow chart to help advise wardens in the field on appropriate actions to take, and it also requires reporting of all incidents into the Department's records database.

These much-needed guidelines are a good step forward for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. MLF will continue to work with Senator Hill to get SB 132 passed into state law.

JANUARY 25, 2013 UPDATE: Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB 132

Senator Jerry Hill at podium next to photo of Half Moon Bay kitten.
Senator Jerry Hill announcing Senate Bill 132 at Friday's press conference in San Mateo.

Senator Jerry Hill held a press conference today in San Mateo to announce his mountain lion public safety bill. This legislation (Senate Bill 132) will require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to utilize nonlethal options when responding to mountain lion incidents when there is no imminent threat to human life.

The nonlethal procedures CDFW will be required to utilize under Hill's legislation include capturing, pursuing, anesthetizing, temporarily possessing, temporarily injuring, marking, attaching to or surgically implanting monitoring or recognition devices, providing veterinary care, transporting, hazing, rehabilitating, and releasing.

However, the legislation still provides CDFW with the authority to kill mountain lions if the lion can reasonably be expected to cause immediate death or physical harm to humans.

The legislation also authorizes CDFW to develop partnerships with veterinarians, scientists, zoos and other individuals and organizations to work with state game wardens when mountain lions wander too close to humans. This is an important change since wildlife and nonprofit organizations throughout the state have the capability and experience to assist with mountain lion incidents.

"The safety of Californians is priority number one, but the law needs to be changed to give wardens more nonlethal options when dealing with the increasing number of mountain lion encounters in our neighborhoods," Hill said.

"Californians value mountain lions as the last remaining apex predator in the state; contributing substantially to environmental health. Senator Hill's legislation reflects those values and will help to ensure that mountain lions remain in the wild for future generations to appreciate," said Tim Dunbar, executive director of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

DECEMBER 21, 2012 UPDATE: Necropsies Show Starving Kittens.

One of the house cat sized mountain lion kittens looking through a bush in the dark.
Necropsies by CDFD's Wildlife Investigations Lab showed the kittens were only 13 pounds and four months old.

The California Department of Fish and Game released the results of the necropsies conducted on the remains of two mountain lions shot by law enforcement in Half Moon Bay on the first of December 2012.

Far from the subadult cats that officials had feared would threaten the public, these were kittens a third the size and age originally estimated.

In their press release, the Department admitted that they hope to learn from the experience. "I regret this unfortunate incident in Half Moon Bay for all involved," said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham.

MLF's Executive Director, Tim Dunbar, was mentioned in the press release, which noted that recent meetings between the Director of the Department and the Mountain Lion Foundation are preparatory for a proposed review by the department of the department's responses to interactions with mountain lions. That review may be available as early as January.

In response to MLF's action alert, letters and emails by many MLF members have helped to keep this tragic incident from being just brief newsbite, and the sad deaths of these two kittens may have some meaning if they have moved the director's office of CDFG in the direction of real change.

Dunbar notes that "The necropsy results reinforce our opinion that fundamental changes are needed in the way the department assesses risk and handles perceived public safety issues with mountain lions."

DECEMBER 5, 2012 ACTION ALERT: Please contact CDFG Director Bonham today!

On Saturday, December 1st, the California Department of Fish and Game shot and killed two mountain lion kittens in Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay is located just south of San Francisco.
Half Moon Bay borders the Pacific Ocean in a greenbelt along the southwest corner of the San Francisco Bay Area.

MLF, the public, and wildlife rescue groups throughout California are now calling out the Department, saying their actions were unjustified and unacceptable treatment of a state protected mammal.

Policies and procedures need to be revised immediately. Please help us in this endeavor by contacting California Department of Fish & Game Director Bonham.

Director Charlton Bonham
CDFG Office of the Director
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 653-7667

Please send MLF a copy of your letter and cc emails to Thank you!

In your letter or telephone call, please point out:

  • Statements released by CDFG are not consistent with basic mountain lion biology and behavior.
  • Non-lethal options to capture the mountain lions were available and should ALWAYS be considered first.
  • California is past due on revising its public safety wildlife guidelines and needs to draft a policy for dealing with injured and orphaned mountain lions, too.

These methods are currently being used by wildlife agencies in other states. It's time for California to catch up!

DECEMBER 1, 2012 BREAKING NEWS: Two Mountain Lion Kittens Killed in Half Moon Bay, California

This evening two mountain lion kittens were killed in Half Moon Bay by California Department of Fish and Game wardens.

The estimated 25 to 30 pound cats were spotted on Friday and officers reportedly tried to shoo them towards Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park - located just half a mile east of town.

The park also connects to the San Francisco State Fish and Game Refuge to the north and Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve to the south.

When the siblings were seen again Saturday huddled in a backyard on the edge of town, CDFG wardens felt they had no choice but to kill them. A spokeswoman for the department said tranquilizing even small lions is too risky and could put the public in danger if the animals try to flee.

One of the house cat sized mountain lion kittens laying in the backyard against a wooden gate.
  Photo by Mark Andermahr.

Others question how much danger two house cat-sized lion kittens really pose, and feel the department should have done more to resolve the situation without lethal force.

Additional criticism arose after the department also speculated the cats were nine-months-old and might have been pushed out of their territory by an older lion. Both of these predictions do not match up with basic mountain lion biology, nor are they consistent with the estimated weight of the cats. A thirty pound lion is closer to half of the age guesstimated by the department and is far too young for a lion to have its own territory.

Mountain lion kittens are dependent on their mother until they reach approximately 18 months of age. During this first year and a half of life, a mother lion will frequently stash her kittens in a safe place while she is off hunting. Young lions are unable to protect themselves or outrun a predator, and so survival relies on the ability to stay still, quiet, and camouflaged in the brush until mom returns.

CDFG reported the two kittens did not run away when wardens approached and appeared to have blank stares on their faces. This natural instinct of trying to stay undetected was unfortunately interpreted as being accustomed to people and an immediate threat to public safety... which justified shooting the pair.

The Mountain Lion Foundation is continuing to investigate this killing and has offered its assistance to the department to revise the state's mountain lion public safety procedures and help fund non-lethal methods.

About the Mountain Lion Foundation.

The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat. The mountain lion is also known as cougar, puma, panther, and catamount.

We believe that mountain lions are in peril. Our nation is on the verge of destroying this apex species upon which whole ecosystems depend. Hunting mountain lions is morally unjustified, and killing lions to prevent conflicts is ineffective and dangerous. There is a critical need to know more about the biology, behavior, and ecology of mountain lions, and governments should base decisions upon truthful science, valid data, and the highest common good. Conserving critical lion habitat is essential.

Together, we can save America's lion.

There are many ways to contribute to Saving America's Lion!

If you live outside California, please forward the link to your California friends and consider posting it on Facebook.

Write a Support Letter

If you live in California you can help by writing a support letter to Senator Hill (the bill's author) telling him why you want Senate Bill 132 to pass. These letters will be used to demonstrate support for the bill as it passes through the legislature and across the desk of the Governor for signature.

A few minutes of your time could make a big difference and help California's mountain lions. Check out MLF's support letter for an example.

Senator Jerry Hill
Attn: Nate Solov
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA 95814-4900

Who Supports Senate Bill 132?

This bill is currently supported by:

Action for Animals, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Animal Rescue Team, Born Free USA, Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife, Inc. (CLAW), Earth Island Institute's Wildlife Alive Project, East Bay Regional Park District, Feline Conservation Center, Felidae Conservation Fund, Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), In Defense of Animals, Marin Humane Society, Mountain Lion Foundation, Oakland Zoo, Ojai Wildlife League, PawPAC, Planning and Conservation League, Project Coyote, Public Interest Coalition, Sierra Club California, Sierra Nevada Alliance, and Wildlife Emergency Services.

Want to add your organization to the list? Please email us a copy of your support letter.

Join Us Today:

No minimum gift is required to become a member of the Mountain Lion Foundation. Just make the donation you can afford using any of the following methods.

Donating online is safe and easy!

You can make a tax-deductible donation with your credit card using Paypal's secure server by clicking on one of the links below.

You may also mail your contribution to Mountain Lion Foundation, P.O. Box 1896, Sacramento, California 95812 or call us at 916-442-2666.

Additional options for making a gift are available by clicking HERE.

However you choose to contribute, you help to give mountain lions a voice. Thank you!


The Mountain Lion Foundation is a tax-deductible non-profit organization, tax exempt under
Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code (Federal I.D. # 94-3015360)

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