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Two Mountain Lions Died Of Starvation After Wildlife Officials Relocated Them To The Desert

Two male mountain lions were relocated hundreds of miles away from their natural habitat. They attempted to return home and died of starvation.

Two male mountain lions died of starvation after California Fish and Wildlife officials moved them from their natural habitat in the eastern Sierra Nevada to the Mojave Desert, hundreds of miles away.

According to a recently released Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program report, the big cats, L147 and L176, attempted to make the long trek back to their home, and their mates, but the journey proved to be fatal, with one cat dying along the way, and the other being found gaunt and near death, too emaciated to be saved.

The cats were transplanted to the Mojave Desert after a mountain lion attack on Bighorn Sheep. Tom Stephenson, a senior environmental scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has since admitted that the decision to relocate the lions was a mistake:

“In hindsight, it wasn’t a good place to release those lions. And we’re not moving them to that environment anymore.”

The report indicates that the decision to move the mountain lions lacked critical considerations:

‘More important and practical factors which should influence mountain lion behavior, such as prey availability and habitat familiarity, received less consideration,’

Public comments about the government’s failed experiment have been justifiably harsh.

“They were removed from their habitat for what? Lions can’t survive in the desert. This is animal cruelty. Where is the outrage.”


“I am sick, crying, thinking about the cruelty, and the painful deaths experienced by these living creatures, just trying to go home to their families and homes. Think about the pain of starving to death…”

Questioning how the act was not criminal:

If you transport and animal to an unfamiliar environment and let it starve to death, you would go to jail. If a state wildlife official does it, they just put their hand up and say my bad.

According to the report, further relocation of male mountain lions will be discontinued.

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  1. These evil officials deserve the death penalty! They are brainless scumbags and they are the reason that these poor animals lost their lives!!!

  2. Hello hunting bighorn sheep and anything else that moves in Mountain Lion range is normal behavior for those cats. It should have never resulted in them being removed and relocated. What freaking idiots are working at Fish and Game? Where is the biologist or big cat specialist and their input on relocating cats to the god forsaken desert in the first place? Unbelievable idiots! Those cats died a horrible death because some asshole decided it was a good idea to move them away from the only home they have ever known. And for what, so some the bighorn sheep can repopulate only to be taken by trophy hunters later on under the guise of conservation? Big cats hunt and kill – circle of life. They kill to eat and survive, where man just kills for fun and to mount trophy heads in the living room.


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