Multiple sightings of sickly mountain lions in Southern California are raising concerns that the cats’ poor condition is linked to last year’s wildfires or to poisoning by fire retardant or rodenticides.
According to SFGate, a malnourished mountain lion was captured in downtown Santa Cruz and at least one other has been spotted elsewhere in the county and captured on video.
Video footage taken from a stationary camera and posted on Facebook shows a skinny cat prowling near Newell Creek in Santa Cruz County.
“Our concern is, the lion is malnourished. Desperate. A desperate cat is a dangerous cat,” said spokesperson Rebecca Dmytryk in a Wildlife Emergency Services press release.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the big cat’s population has grown in recent years due to its “specially protected species” status. Between 4,000 and 6,000 mountain lions are estimated to live in the state.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.