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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Pumas are native to the Santa Monica Mountains. Livestock are not

Mountain lion
A mountain lion can be seen on a hillside in the Santa Monica Mountains.
(National Park Service )

To the editor: I am befuddled by the recent slaughter of P-56, a male mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains who preyed on livestock.

So, someone can get a permit to kill wild animals where they live if they place attractive meals (such as sheep or other passive livestock) for them on their land? Isn’t this called baiting, which is illegal for hunters to do in California?

This particular 2014 exception to the 40-year-old mountain lion hunting ban should be looked at closer to find out who pushed for it in the first place and who approved it, so we know who the real killers are.

Also, if you own property in the mountains, why would you want to raise livestock and attract these beautiful but natural-born killers directly to you? If that’s your “business,” then your business model needs work.

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Scott Vyduna, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Joseph T. Edmiston, the executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy who said he’s willing to take drastic action to prevent the death of the last remaining male mountain lion in the area, should be careful what he wishes for despite his good intentions.

If P-63 or another mountain lion were to kill someone, especially a child, he has exposed himself to some serious liability and lawsuits from the victim’s relatives. There are plenty of attorneys out there who would gladly take the case.

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Trent Sanders, La Cañada Flintridge

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To the editor: Let’s get this straight: If I put a bunch of chickens in my front yard and the neighborhood cats start killing them, I can shoot the cats?

I respect the fact that whoever shot P-56 tried to pen or protect his livestock, but here’s the bottom line: Sheep or whatever other livestock you have are not native to the Santa Monicas. Mountain lions are.

These predators and other native species belong to all of us and deserve to be protected. Close your buffet.

Chuck Heinz, West Hills


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