A Simi Valley man has been charged after allegedly fatally shooting mountain lion P-38 in the head earlier this summer, Ventura County officials announced Tuesday.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report from the National Park Service that P-38 might have been killed after officials received a mortality signal from the collared cougar on July 2. P-38 was found dead and an investigation revealed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
On Tuesday, Alfredo Gonzalez, 60, was charged with killing a protected animal and vandalism of the mountain lion’s GPS collar, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
It is illegal to kill a mountain lion without a permit from the state, officials said.
The motive behind the incident or what led up to it is unknown.
Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 9 in Ventura.
P-38 was born in 2012 and was first collared in 2015, officials said. He was known to roam portions of the Santa Susana Mountains.
He was believed to have fathered three kittens with P-39. The kittens, P-50, P-51 and P-52, were discovered in the eastern Santa Susana Mountains in July 2016.