You Don't Always Have to Kill Mountain Lions

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife officials are no longer required to kill mountain lions that may pose a threat to public safety. New guidelines from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife allow for other options.

The rules were inspired by an incident last year, when a warden killed two mountain lion cubs in Half Moon Bay.

Tim Dunbar, executive director of the Sacramento-based Mountain Lion Foundation, said until now there wasn't much nuance in how officials could deal with potentially dangerous mountain lions: they had to euthanize them.

"These new guidelines would allow them to use non-lethal procedures, would allow them to relocate the lions. And in some cases, actually rehabilitate," he explained.

Dunbar's group worked with the department to develop the policy. There's also a bill in Sacramento that would give state officials permission to work with organizations that handle wayward wildlife.

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