Permit issued to hunt mountain lion


A depredation permit has been issued for a mountain lion that killed five goats Friday on a farm near Gilroy, which means that the goats' owner can hunt and kill the cat, a California Department of Fish and Game spokesman said today.

The attack occurred in the early morning on a farm in the Butch Drive area, spokesman Steve Martarano said. The department issued the permit to hunt the animal, but they are not in charge of tracking it.

Martarano said that when a mountain lion attacks and kills pets or livestock a permit is issued only if the owner requests it. The permit allows owners to trap and kill the animal within 10 days of the initial incident if the cat returns to the property.

Mountain lions usually prey on deer, but at this time of year when some of the younger mountain lions are just beginning to hunt its common for them to go after easier prey, like livestock, Martarano said.

"This is not a public safety issue, this is typical behavior for mountain lions," Martarano.

Mountain lions were sighted in Danville and Hayward in the past two weeks, according to the department. The cat spotted in Hayward possibly killed a goat and a depredation permit was issued there as well.

It is "very rare" for a mountain lion to attack a human, Martarano said. Since 1890 there have been 16 mountain lion attacks in California, only six of which were fatal.

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