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Mountain Lion Shooting Sparks Outrage

Mountain Lion Shooting Sparks Outrage

Animal advocates are calling for an investigation after a mountain lion was shot and killed by authorities in Santa Monica, Calif., this week.

The mountain lion was first spotted before 6 a.m. walking along Arizona Avenue and was then discovered by a janitor who saw him in an office building’s courtyard, according to the LA Times.

Santa Monica police officers and state Department of Fish and Game wardens were notified and cordoned off the area before they attempted to subdue him by taking repeated shots with a tranquilizer gun, which only hit him once, in addition to using nonlethal bullets and a fire hose, all while a news chopper circled overhead.

“Basically, they agitated and frightened a cornered cat before they killed her,” Bernstein said. “Hosing a mountain lion down and then shooting (it) with pepper balls only served to make her more frenzied. Deadly force should be used only as a last resort. The citizens and wildlife of California deserve better,” said Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.

Some residents are defending the decision to kill the mountain lion, with the stance that authorities had the best interest of public safety in mind, while others are saddened and angered by the incident and are calling for an investigation into the decision and want to see wildlife policies changed.

“What was the rush?” asked Bill Dyer, a regional director for In Defense of Animals. “They should have taken their time. This land belongs to the animals, too. This is not just our land.”

No one knows exactly what the mountain lion was doing in the area in the first place, but authorities suspect the three-year-old was roaming to find his own territory, before accidentally finding himself in a city. The National Park Service believes there are 10 mountain lions in the Santa Monica area, who they’ve been monitoring, but the one who killed wasn’t among those who were known.

“These young guys are looking for a home of their own,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist with the National Park Service. “At this age, they are testing their boundaries and establishing their home range away from other males.”

As other reports are noting, from 1890 and 2007 there have only been 16 mountain lion attacks involving people in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Game. Only six of the attacks were fatal and two of those fatalities were due to rabies.

Were authorities too hasty to kill the mountain lion? Should they have angered him less and given the tranquilizer more time to kick in? Should law enforcement agencies provide more training for dealing with situations involving domestic animals and wildlife?

Related Stories:

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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313 comments

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9:58PM PDT on May 11, 2013

Last sentance:..."

"Should law enforcement agencies provide more training for dealing with situations involving domestic animals and wildlife?"........DUH YEAH !!!!! & THE GAME WARDENS TOO !!!!!.......................not funny but....................keystone cops

9:53PM PDT on May 11, 2013

CHECK THIS OUT paragraph 3........" Santa Monica police officers and state Department of Fish and Game wardens were notified and cordoned off the area before they attempted to subdue him by taking repeated shots with a tranquilizer gun, which only hit him once, in addition to using nonlethal bullets and a fire hose, all while a news chopper circled overhead. "
.............. repeated shots with a tranquilizer gun, which only hit him once ????? SO IF THEIR SHOOTING SKILLS WERE SO POOR, what makes them think that aiming something else at the lion would work? NUMB NUTS !!!!! POOR DECISIONS !!!!!! I understand the panic ........... just keep using the tranquilizer gun !!!!! I hope they had more than one tranq gun & more than 2 shots

12:01PM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:15PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

i´m really fade up of all these shooters, abusers, killers, ..
they are men, isn´t it ? - they have to protect - but whom for whom

TY

10:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

We are invading their gterritory. Thay should shoot us!!!

7:02AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

Oh, dear, someone thought startling and intimidating a predatory cat was a way to control it? That needs a rethink (My dish drainer & contents went every-which-way this morning due to a startled cat -- one that is normally a delight)

12:44AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

What kind of morons are working in this department, all who like to murder defensless animals

10:55PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

I no longer trust humans, especially law enforcement and fish and game either. they are trigger happy, this needs to stop now ! that cat did not deserve to die, i blame ONLY humans because they feel they are superior, to me they are lower than dirt. these guys (Fish and Game and cops as well ) don't give a shit about animals, we have too many bad humans in this world and they should not be allowed to reproduce anymore !

5:56PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Apparently the police needed wildlife rescue staff on hand to give support and advise.
Sounds like they didn't reach out for expert advise and got freaked out and scared; then the lion was killed because they didn't know how to handle the situation.
Very poor showing.

Happens way too often with human victims, too.

9:28AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

Notizia molto triste.

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