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California’s Top Wildlife Official Replaced After Cougar Killing

California’s top wildlife official lost his job today seven months after he shot a mountain lion in Idaho. The state Fish and Game Commission voted him out of office.

It wasn’t illegal for commission president Dan Richards to kill the cougar, or to pose with his prey for a photograph that later circulated online.

California banned mountain lion hunts decades ago - but Idaho and many other states allow them.

That’s what Richards argued when animal rights activists, conservationists and lawmakers demanded his resignation earlier this year.

Richards’ cougar kill may be legal, they said, but it violates the will of Californians who oppose the practice. The state wildlife agency elected Jim Kellogg to replace Richards as its president. Richards, a Schwarzenegger appointee from Upland remains a member of the Commission until the end of his term in January.

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