allows museums and educational facilities to display deceased lions (lions that have died of natural causes or were killed legally under current California law) to teach the public about this magnificent keystone species. On Friday, September 30th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 769.
In 1990, California voters passed Proposition 117, making the mountain lion a specially protected Senate Bill 769mammal under California law. The trophy hunting of lions was banned, and to help enforce poaching, it also became "unlawful to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or any part or product thereof..." (Read the full text of Proposition 117). Museums and educational facilities were still allowed to take in the carcasses of lions that had been killed under legal circumstances, until recently when state officials decided this was prohibited under the law. As a result of this new interpretation, any lion that was killed for public safety, hit by a car, or even died of natural causes was tossed in the trash. What a waste. Museums, colleges, and nature centers wanted the opportunity to work with these specimens to teach students and the public about mountain lions. SB 769, coauthored by Senator Fuller and Assembly Member Huffman, allows these deceased lions to help us further understand and protect the species. SB 769 does not open the door to poaching, and it preserves both the integrity and the strength of current lion protection laws.