Investigation into fatal shooting of mountain lion in Fallbrook - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Investigation into fatal shooting of mountain lion in Fallbrook

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FALLBROOK (CBS 8) - A ranch supervisor could face jail time for killing a mountain lion in Fallbrook.

He may be in trouble for illegally shooting the animal out of a tree. He says he shot it in self-defense, which is allowed.

California Fish and Game is looking into the death of a mountain lion in a study when investigators found the remains of a second mountain lion.

Investigators doubt the rancher's version of the story, believing the mountain lion was shot out of the tree, and since they are classified as specially protected species, it's illegal to kill a mountain lion unless it's in self defense or to protect pets or livestock.

Now the rancher faces a misdemeanor, and if convicted could spend up to a year in jail and be fined up to $10,000.

It's believed there are only about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions still living in California's foothills and mountains.

The rancher tells News 8 that he's also being asked to reimburse the Dept. of Fish and Game $2,000 for a tracking collar that they say was taken from the dead mountain lion. But the rancher says the animal didn't have a collar, and he has a picture to prove it.

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