MALIBU—A miniature horse was found dead nearby a Malibu ranch on October 25. The owner, Barbara Lyons, reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after discovering that the 18-year old miniature horse, Marco Polo, disappeared from her pen on October 22, and was found 300 feet outside the pen three days later.
The National Park Service indicated that Marco Polo was likely killed by a mountain lion, known as P-45, from the Santa Monica mountains. Alpaca, goats and sheep are also among recent victims killed by local mountain lions. The attacks are due to the increase of domestic animals and livestock nearby which render them the easy targets.
Wendell Phillips, an owner of five alpacas, witnessed P-45 attacking his animals in January and March, all of which resulted in death. Phillips said the threat is growing.
“P-45 has had at least two litters of kittens so we’ve got six or seven mountain lions and only a couple of them are collared in this area. I think that’s way too many mountain lions for the size of habitat they have,” Phillips told ABC7 News.
The park service said any animal left outside the enclosure which is designed to keep predators out is vulnerable to attack.
Lyons hoped her incident would alert other livestock owners to take precautions to ensure their animal’s safety.
“I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through. I just want to save another horse,” Lyons told ABC7 News.
Marco Polo was buried at a Calabasas Pet cemetery on October 26.