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Two Mountain Lion Cubs Shot by Authorities

Fish and Game officials deemed the cubs a threat to public safety when they did not shy away from humans.

Two young mountain lions were shot and killed by game wardens in Half Moon Bay on Saturday afternoon, a California Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

The mountain lions had taken refuge under the porch of a home in the 800 block of Correas Street on Friday, department spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and game wardens responded to the sighting and confirmed the presence of two "adolescent" mountain lions around 10 months old, each weighing between 25 and 30 pounds, Mackey said.

The animals had "blank stares" and did not try to hide or run away from the humans, she said.

"When these cats aren't trying to scamper away, that raises a red flag," Mackey said. "They seemed very habituated to humans, which was unusual."

The cats were in a neighborhood that is adjacent to a wildlife corridor leading to the Burleigh-Murray Ranch State Park. In an effort to allow the cats a chance to go back into the wild, game wardens left the area for about 24 hours, Mackey said.

However, when the cats were seen in the same neighborhood the next day, wardens made the decision to shoot the animals in the name of public safety.

"We care about wildlife, we want to preserve wildlife - but public safety was a priority in this case," Mackey said.

Attempting to tranquilize the cats with a poke-stick or dart gun was not an option, given the close proximity of the animals to a populated neighborhood.

"Animals don't go down right away," Mackey said. "It can take two to three minutes, or not work at all."

Having two possibly agitated young mountain lions on the loose so close to people and pets posed too great a risk, she said.

The animals were killed at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. A necropsy will be performed on the cats to determine their age and health condition.

Last year, a mountain lion was killed in Redwood City after it wandered into a residential neighborhood and into the backyard of a home. The mountain lion was also deemed a threat to public safety.

- Bay City News


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Reality Check December 06, 2012 at 04:00 AM
What fearful lame asses. You want zero risk, sure, shoot everything on site. Safer that way! Shameful how these supposed wildlife experts hide behind the holy grail of "safety" every time they (without fail?) decide to shoot and kill mountain lions. Interesting to note "authorities" who shoot and kill mountain lions always portray the the false and totally without-evidence choice of either shoot-to-kill or shoot-to-tranquilize-followed-by-some-minutes-of-man-killing-rage-before-the-drugs-take-effect. What can the "authorities" point to that tranquilizer-shot mountain lions that have been passively hanging out suddenly will turn into man-killers as a consequence of being drugged with a tranquilizer dart? Is there any evidence that a previously-completely non-agressive mountain lion instantly turns into a blood-thirsty beast when hit with a dart? No! (If there was, they'd be sure to cite these case histories to fend off the richly-deserved criticism directed their way every time they kill an otherwise non-threatening wild animal in place perceived unacceptably "out-of-bounds".) It just doesn't pass the smell test. These trigger happy wildlife-killers need to have their "safety concerns" bluff called. Hit a mountain lion with a dart and it suddenly becomes a man-killer? Nonsense! Yet, it's the tired old excuse they trot out every time they blast a beautiful wild animal to kingdom-come.
Reality Check December 06, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Ok, I want to correct a sloppy/hasty spelling error in my prior posting before any pendant helpfully points it out. In my haste, I stupidly wrote "shoot everything in _site_" instead of the correct and intended spelling: "sight".
Reality Check December 06, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Crap! Too much cachaça for me tonight (I'm in Brazil at the moment and admit to enjoying a few too-many caipirinhas tonight!) ... "pendant" should be "pedant" ... and, ironically, yes, I am being the pedant here by continually preemptively posting and correcting my own more-or-less minor (but dumb) spelling errors.
Buck Shaw December 06, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Hey, even though we often disagree. You still get the point across. Don't feel so guilty. I spell great with a pencil in my hand, but not a keyboard..
Marilyn B December 06, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I echo Freda's comment. Haven't "Authorities" heard of catch & release? Tragic decision.


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