Trio of mountain lions blamed for preying on farm animals in Riverside County

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A gruesome scene of rotting animal body parts in the Santa Ana mountains is being blamed on a trio of mountain lions, according to the owner of an organic farm. (KABC)

A gruesome scene of rotting animal body parts in the Santa Ana mountains is being blamed on a trio of mountain lions, according to the owner of an organic farm.

The trouble started in August with five dead sheep and its grown to include a lot more damage with mountain lions routinely chowing down on Carl Kepner's livestock.

"He broke in from the top and killed five ewes and three babies," he said.

Kepner runs an organic farm just off Ortega Highway in Riverside County.

He says a mountain lion and her two offspring have attacked his animals. Just three days ago, his last alpaca was eaten.

"Obviously being a farmer and having livestock you know you are going to have some loss, but not to that extent," Kepner said.

In another attack, he says a juvenile lion nearly wiped out all his ducks. Only a limited number remains of the flock that numbered over 100.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued Kepner two permits to hunt and shoot the lions.

Both were failed attempts.

Kepner also said he isn't keen on the idea of killing the animals.

"Ideally what I want is for the animal and her cubs to be relocated," he said.

A spokesperson with the Fish and Wildlife told Eyewitness News relocating the animals wouldn't work and historically has failed. It's also against state law to remove the animals.

Additionally, unless the lions become a public safety issue, they can't take action on private property.

"I think it is the Fish and Games responsibility actually," he said. "Especially when you come in an area where there are some children here."

Kepner said he has made some changes including no longer pinning his livestock at night.

"They can run and maybe one or two of them get eaten - just not the slaughter inside there." he said.

Kepner tells Eyewitness News he is in the process of relocating his animals to a farm he purchased in Northern California.

Related Topics:
mountain lion sightingmountainsanimal attackanimalfarmingRiverside County
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