May 29, 2013

SB 132 passes the Senate Floor


Senate Bill 132 (Hill), which would require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to utilize non-lethal options when responding to mountain lion encounters, where there is no immediate threat to human life, passed the California Senate Floor last night - unanimously! 

According to 
Rebecca Dmytryk, founder of Wildlife Emergency Services (WES), 
"This is definitely a step in the right direction." 
"It's about doing the right thing. It doesn't take away the Department's authority to kill a mountain lion that's a threat to human life, but it gives them more options."
The proposed legislation would also give the Department authority to partner with qualified individuals, educational institutions, and NGO's to implement non-lethal procedures. 

It's already proven successful. 

On March 9th, Dmytryk and her husband, both wildlife capture experts, were called on to assist with a mountain lion cub that had wandered into a backyard near Almaden. See the full story, HERE.

More recently, WES was called upon by Santa Cruz Police to help with an adult mountain lion that was found wandering the city street. More, HERE.
"We feel honored to have worked with the Department on these two mountain lion incidents, and I think we all proved how successful such collaboration can be. Both situations went really smoothly. I like to say, it went by the soon-to-be-written book."
After the mountain lion cub shooting in Half Moon Bay on December 1st, Dmytryk launched a petition, HERE, calling for the Department to consider alternatives to lethal take of mountain lions.
"The public outcry was intense and a bit misdirected. I wanted to give the people a voice and a direction." 
In addition, Dmytryk has pulled together a group of experts from around the country to work on guidelines for First Response and rehabilitation of cougars. These will be presented to the Department for its consideration.



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