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State officials said Monday that a mountain lion known as P-45 is strongly suspected of breaking into two ranches in the hills above Malibu over the weekend and killing nearly a dozen alpacas and a goat.

The owner of one ranch where 10 alpacas were killed secured a special permit Monday to shoot and kill the big cat, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The so-called depradation permit gives the ranch owner the right to hire a hunter to find the animal and kill it, Hughan said. Typically, hunters use a deer carcass to lure a cougar and shoot it with a rifle.

The 10-day permit allows the hunter to scour the hills within 10 miles of the homeowner’s ranch, located near Mulholland Highway and Little Sycamore Canyon Road. There, the lion attacked a herd of alpacas on Saturday night, killing 10 and injuring two others, Hughan said.

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