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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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TM December 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I have a hard time believing "all options were considered." The biggest thing that stands out to me is that these cats were about 1/2 the size of your basic labrador retriever. Now granted a wild animal that is aggitated is all fangs and claws. But since the wardens came back 24hrs later, you would have thought in that time period they could have contacted or considered all options to preserve a life? "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." Yes, I feel much safer knowing a bullet is flying somewhere in my neighborhood? They had the time to think, once tranquilized "under a porch" could they not have been contained with screening methods? And like Yosemite bears, tagged and relocated to a different area. If found returning to human habitats, then draw out the 'final solution.' 98% of us will never see a mountain lion out in the wild. They are that elusive. More training and less guns would seem a method that could mean all of us are on this planet longer.
Shirin Apour December 05, 2012 at 06:13 PM
very sad and I would think that there could have been other options available
Forrest Park December 05, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I think that "in the name of public safety", guns should be removed from the hands of authorities - all authorities, including police. Reading the daily news over a span of time, one could come to the conclusion that guns in the hands of police is far more detrimental to the public safety than guns in the hand of criminals. Lord help us.
B December 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
This is outrageous. Public policy on this issue needs to be addressed and it needs to happen NOW.
Carolyn V. San Carlos resident since 1978 December 07, 2012 at 05:20 AM
??? Of all the stories I saw on the news, no resident felt threatened. The people only wanted the cubs safely moved. There are businesses that do this without violence. My first thought was these guys wanted to be the "great hunters." Instead, they should be ashamed. Please address these situations before another one arises. It makes me disgusted. These people need better training.

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